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THREE DAYS after winning the gold medal equalling the junior world record in the 10 M air pistol event, 19-year-old Panchkula shooter Yashaswini Deswal teamed up with Anmol to claim the gold in the 10 M air pistol mixed team test event at the ISSF Junior World Championship in Suhl, Germany, on Wednesday. The Indian team won gold after winning seven series compared to four by the Russian team of Alexander Petrov and Nadezhada Kolodo. Earlier, in the semi-finals, Deswal and Anmol scored a combined total of 239.3 to top the semis and make it to the finals. The Indian duo had come third in the qualification round with a score of 478, which included 14 perfect ten shots.
“It was for the first time that Yashaswini was competing in the mixed team event and the gold medal at a world level is commendable. The format sees each shooter shooting 25 shots in the qualification round and it is different from the individual event. There is a semi-final and finals unlike individual events and it tests the mental aspect of the shooters. It is a joint effort and events like these help you to understand team events,” said T S Dhillon, Deswal’s coach.
Deswal, daughter of IPS officer SS Deswal, ADG, SSB, and a student of DAV College, Chandigarh, started the sport in 2011 and made a junior world record score of 235.9 in the final of the 10 M Air Pistol event in Germany last week. The mixed team event, taking place for the first time in the Junior World Championship, is set to be introduced in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by the International Olympic Committee. The recommendations to include the mixed gender event was given by the Abhinav Bindra-led ISSF Athletes Committee and the world governing body soon ratified the proposal.
The first quota places for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be offered in next year’s world championship in South Korea and Dhillon is confident of Deswal making it to the senior team for the world championship. Earlier, this year, the duo of Jeetu Rai and Heena Sidhu won gold in the mixed team event at the ISSF World Cup in Delhi in February and the World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan, earlier this month.
“Yashaswini is regularly shooting scores of 384-385 in the individual events and we will target competing in the senior category in next year’s world championships. It is the first event offering quota places for the 2020 Olympics and the way she is shooting, I am confident that she can claim a quota place. She competed in the senior category in the Munich World Cup and shot a score of 379. Competing in big events like world championships helps her mentally and it will be a crucial year for her,” added Dhillon.