Jitu Rai wins gold at ISSF World Cup

NEW DELHI MAr 01,
Jitu Rai clinched the gold medal with yet another stirring comeback while compatriot Amanpreet Singh bagged the silver in men’s 50m pistol event in the ISSF World Cup on Tuesday. The Army man shot a total of 230.1, a world record, to finish on top of the podium, while Amanpreet, who was leading for a major part of the final, had to settle for a silver after aggregating 226.9.
Iran’s Vahid Golkhandan took away the bronze with a score of 208.0 at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.Rai was placed sixth at the end of the first two competition series of five shots each with 93.8. At that point Amanpreet was leading the eight-man field with 98.9. The shooter then extended his domination with a series of high scores, even as Rai tried to make his way back into contention.
A stunning 10.8 in one of the elimination rounds proved to be crucial for Rai, who jumped from sixth to the third position, and knocked out Kazakhstan’s renowned marksman Vladimir Issachenk with a 10.5.
Rai kept up the tempo with a 10.4 and 10.0, while Amanpreet, after a fine start in his career’s first World Cup final, had a meltdown.
After upstaging Golkhandan, Rai comfortably got the better of Amanpreet in the gold medal round, finishing the event with an excellent 10.5 to lay his claim on the top prize.
“It’s amazing to win this gold medal here during the first combined World Cup held here in India, in front of my supporters. It’s a great honour and a true emotion to see the Indian flag flying high,” said Rai.
“I didn’t have a perfect start today, but I guess that’s the fun of the sport. I like it that way, uncertainty is part of the game, otherwise there is no excitement. I climbed into the lead shot after shot and I think it was a nice match,” he added.

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