Young Indian shooter Om Prakash Mitharwal today clinched gold medal at the ISSF World Championships in the 50m pistol event in Changwon, South Korea. Competing against the best in the world, Prakash, 23, shot a total of score of 564 to finish at the top of the podium.
The silver was won by Serbia’s Damir Mikec (562), while the bronze went to South Korea’s Daemyung Lee (560).
Former world number one of the event and multi time Commonwealth and Asian Games medallist Jitu Rai failed to find any form as he finished 17th in the event with a total of 552. The Army-man won a silver medal in the 2014 edition.
Another Indian in fray was Manjit Singh who shot a total of 532 to finish at 56th position.
Earlier, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil secured an Olympic berth by finishing 4th and 2nd respectively in women’s 10m air rifle event yesterday. However, the 50m air pistol event is no longer a part of Olympics which will not give an Olympic quota to Mitharval.
In the team competition of the same event, Om Prakash Mitharwal, Jitu Rai and Manjit Singh combined for a fifth-place finish with a total score of 1648.
Women’s pistol shooters disappoint
There were some Olympic berth at stake in the 10m air pistol event but Manu Bhaker and Heena Sidhu failed to make a mark. Bhaker, 16, shot a total of 574 to finish at 13th position, whereas, senior pro in Heena Sidhu shot a total of 571 to finish at 29th position.
The Indian team finished fourth with Bhaker, Sidhu and Shweta Singh (568) combining for a total of 1713.
National Rifle Association of India’s(NRAI) verdict
The National body will take the final call on selection of the shooters, based on the aggregate scores of shooters in international tournaments and selection trials in pursuit to the 2020 Olympics. Hence their qualification is not really permanent and they have to battle it out in the next two years with their consistent performance.