Rio de Janeiro: Asian Games medallist Abhishek Verma won the gold medal while teen sensation Saurabh Chaudhary claimed bronze as Indian shooters dominated the podium in the men’s 10m air pistol event of the ongoing ISSF World Cup here.
Abhishek Verma, a part-time lawyer, shot 244.2 points in the eight-man final Thursday, while the 17-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary’s 221.9 was good enough to get him the bronze after five gold medals this year. The silver medal went to Turkey’s Ismail Keles, who aggregated 243.1 in the season’s fourth ISSF World Cup for rifle and pistol shooters.
India are now placed at the top of the medals tally with two gold, one silver and a bronze. India have already exhausted the maximum Olympic quotas available per country in this event, with both Verma and Chaudhary securing the sports in the previous qualifying events.
In the qualification round on Thursday, Chaudhary was fourth with 584 points and Abhishek Verma entered the finals in fifth position with 582 points, while Gaurav Rana was 44th with 571.
Verma, who won bronze in the Jakarta Asiad last year, and Chaudhary ended the second day of competitions on a high note for India.
Chaudhary was comparatively subdued in the final, but it was the Asian Games bronze medallist Verma, who looked in his elements.
In a top quality final field, featuring the likes of former Olympic and World Champion Pang Wei of China, besides multiple World Cup and World Championship medallists like Omelchuk, Serbian Damir Mikec and Turkish Yusuf Dikec, Verma was placed second till the first series of five shots.
Abhishek Verma went into the lead from the 12th shot, which is also the first elimination shot of the 24-shot final and never looked back from there, fending off the challenge of Ismail Keles of Turkey with a sublime 10.7 for his final shot to settle the issue.
Earlier in the day, Chinki Yadav came close to making it to the finals, finishing just a point behind the final qualifying mark in the women’s 25m Pistol event. She shot a 294 in the Rapid Fire round, ending up with a solid 584 to claim 10th spot.
Among other Indian competitors on the day, Chain Singh and Parul Kumar, in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions, shot 1,161 points and 1,148 points to finish 49th and 57th respectively while Gaurav Rana, in the men’s 10m Air Pistol, shot 571 to claim the 44th spot.