India’s Ayonika Paul clinched her maiden international medal as a senior shooter by settling for a bronze in the 10m air rifle event of the ISSF World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia.
Continuing her excellent run of form this season, the 21-year-old Ayonika finished third in the qualification round with a score of 417.3.
She went on to shoot a score of 185.3 in the final to clinch the bronze medal.
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“This is my first ever World Cup medal and I am really happy. I must thank NRAI for their support. I also want to specially thank Olympic Gold Quest for their wonderful support to me. They have sent me quite a few times to Austria for training stints under world renowned coach Thomas Farnik which has really improved my technique,” an elated Ayonika said.
“I also work with Olympic Gold Quest sports psychologist Vaibhav Agashe and sports medicine specialist Dr Nikhil Latey. They have both made a big difference to my confidence and fitness.”
The 2012 Olympic Champion, China’s Yi Siling, won the gold medal, ending up on the highest step of the podium with a total score of 209.6 points. Wu Liuxi took the second place with 207.6 points.
Ayonika has had a very consistent season. She finished sixth in the World Cup in USA earlier this year. Her consistency has been rewarded with not just her first ever World Cup medal but also a place in the top 10 of the world rankings. Ayonika is currently ranked ninth in the world.