Avani, Pooja shine at Para Shooting World Cup
Avani Lekhara poses with her silver medal at the Para Shooting World Cup - Al Ain. Photo - indianshooting.com

India’s Avani Lekhara and Pooja Agarwal put up an impressive performance to strike silver medals at the recently concluded Para Shooting World Cup in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

Avani won silver and in the process also set a junior world record in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing while Pooja won silver in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol Standing.

The 15-year-old Avani shot a score of 102.1 and was placed second after the end of the first competition stage of the finals. As the finals progressed, Avani shot very well to maintain the second position throughout the finals.

The class 10th student from Jaipur was very consistent and produced an incredible bull’s eye routine — which also included two near perfect shots of 10.8 — to claim the silver in her first ever international competition.

“I am not very happy with my performance. I feel I could have done better in the finals. This was my first finals and I was under a lot of pressure but I did manage to control it to the best of my ability. I am looking forward to more international competitions in the future,” said Avani who started shooting in 2015.

In the qualification, Avani shot 406.8 (101.7, 101.6, 103.6, 99.9) to register the second best qualification score.

The gold was won by Veronika Vadovicova of Slovakia with a world record score of 247.5 while Chutima Saenlar of Thailand won the bronze.

Pooja Agarwal poses with her silver medal.
Pooja Agarwal poses with her silver medal.

Just like Avani, Pooja who was also participating in her first international competition was equally impressive in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol Standing.

The 31-year-old Pooja shot a score of 94.6 and was placed second after the end of the first competition stage of the finals. With a shot on 10.3 on the 18th shot, Pooja took a lead of 0.8 points over Chrisztina David of Hungary and was in hunt for a gold. She needed a 9.9 or more on the last shot to seal it but a 7.5 meant the Delhi based shooter had to be contend with the silver.

“This was my first international competition and it was a good experience for me. Although I was expecting better scores but I am satisfied with my performance,” said Pooja.

The other Indians in this event, Sonia Sharma and Rubina Francis finished 6th and 8th respectively. Rubina who was the youngest shooter in the finals also set a junior world record of 99.7.

Chrisztina won the gold with a world record of 230.7 while Thailand’s Somporn Muangsiri took the bronze.

In the qualification, Pooja shot 363 (91.91,93,88). Rubina shot 347 (90,90,78,89) while Sonia shot 346 (87,85,89,85).

The Results:

Women’s 10m Air Rifle: 1. Veronika Vadovicova (SVK) 247.5 (WR) 409.8; 2. Avani Lekhara 244.4 (WRJ) 406.8 (QWRJ); 3. Chutima Saenlar (THA) 221.8 (405.4).

Women’s 10m Air Pistol: 1. Chrisztina David (HUN) 230.7 (WR) 377; 2. Pooja Agarwal 228.4 (363); 3. Somporn Muangsiri (THA) 201.8 (357); 6. Sonia Sharma 140.0 (346); 8. Rubina Francis 99.7 (WRJ) 347 (QWRJ).

Also Read: Indian shooters gear up for Para Shooting World Cup