Young Indian shooter Apurvi Chandela impressed again as she clinched the silver medal in women’s 10m air rifle event of the ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup Finals on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Jaipur girl finished second on the podium after she tallied 206.9, just 0.6 behind Ahmadi Elaheh of Iran, who won the gold medal with a tally of 207.5.
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Andrea Arsovic of Serbia bagged the bronze after prevailing in a shoot-off with Croatia’s Valentina Gustin.
In the finals, Chandela started on a rousing note as she fired two shots of 10.8 to lead after Series 1 of first competition stage. A total of 30.6 in the second series saw her a drop a place.
Thereafter, the Indian managed to remain in contention for a medal.
Chandela’s final shot was a 10.2, which was just 0.2 less than the eventual winner Ahmadi Elaheh, who shot a 10.4.
The reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist has already earned the country a quota place for next year’s Rio Olympics by claiming the 10m air rifle bronze at the ISSF World Cup (Rifle/Pistol) in Changwon, Korea, in April.
Shooters with 10 best scores in each event of the year’s four World Cups are entitled to compete in the finals.
London Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang and Gurpreet Singh had earlier reached the finals of their respective events in the tournament, but missed out on medals.
National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh was delighted about Chandela’s performance.
“We are very excited in the way Apurvi (Chandela) has developed as a shooter over the past years. She has been raising the bar with every outing. This performance on Saturday has confirmed her status as one of the top women rifle shooters of the world in her discipline. I am sure this medal will spur her for more consistency and greater glory and will act as a confidence booster as she prepares herself for the Rio 2016
Olympics,” Singh said.
Expressing his happiness at the result, Kuldeep Chandela, father of Apurvi Chandela, said: “The family is delighted at this result, especially because it was a premiere competition between the year’s top shooters in the event.
“We are indebted to the coach (Stanislav) Lapidius, who has always shown great confidence in Apurvi’s abilities throughout and worked very hard with her. We would also like to thank the NRAI for supporting her all through and taking care of all administrative matters, so that Apurvi could concentrate solely on her sport.
“Her record suggests that she is the best finalist among all Indian shooters as every time she makes the final rounds, she comes back with a medal of some colour. This medal will surely boost her confidence even more towards the aim of winning an Olympic medal, hopefully gold,” he added.