Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary won their sixth 10M Air Pistol Mixed TeamInternational Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup medal on the trot, only this time their first silver after a run of five gold medals, going down to the Russian pair of Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov 12-16 in the gold medal match on Saturday in Osijek, Croatia. The Indian duo fought hard, levelling at 6-6 and then fighting back from 6-12 to level it back at 12-12, but that was not enough on the day to ward off the world class Russian pair in the Olympic event.
India now has one silver and two bronze medals at the ongoing Osijek shooting world cup to lie ninth in the medals tally. Russia top the table currently with three gold medals for a total of seven medals.
A total of 17 nations have medals at the Osijek ISSF Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun World Cup stage, in what is the final world level competition before the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics next month.
Rio Olympic silver medallist Batsarashkina and World Championship gold medallist in the discipline Artem Chernousov, had earlier topped the second qualification round, shooting a combined 390 out of 400, to qualify for the gold medal match-up against the Indian duo, who came in second with 387.
Manu and Saurabh had topped the field in the first qualifying round shooting 587 out of 600 after 60 shots (30 shots each team member). Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Deswal, the second Indian pair in the fray, shot a combined 577, to finish fourth out of 32 teams.
Abhishek and Yashaswini then came in a point behind their compatriots with 386 to make it to the bronze medal match against Iran’s Javad Foroughi and Golnoush Sebgatolahi, who finished fourth with 385 in the round of eight. The Iranian pair went on to beat India 17-7 to clinch bronze in the event.
Late on Friday, India’s 10M Air Rifle Mixed Team pairs had missed out on medals, when the duo of Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar finished sixth, bowing out in the second qualifying round. Anjum Moudgil and Deepak Kumar could not make it beyond the first, finishing 15thoverall.
Sunday has two events with Indian interests. Manu Bhaker takes the field again alongside Rahi Sarnobat for the first precision stage of the Women’s 25M Pistol, another Olympic event. Then Sanjeev Rajput and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar fight for medals in the Men’s 50M Rifle 3 Positions event.