Pooja Ghatkar overcame some technical issues to clinch the women’s 10m air rifle bronze medal as India opened their account on a positive note in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup on Friday.
The 28-year-old Ghatkar, a former Asian champion, shot 228.8 in the final of 10m air rifle to finish third on the podium and win her maiden World Cup medal, at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.
China’s Mengyao Shi won the gold medal with a score of 252.1, setting a new world record in the event. Mengyao’s compatriot Dong Lijie bagged the silver with a score of 248.9 on day one of competitions. Ghatkar, who had missed out on a Rio Olympic Games quota place by a whisker last year, said she was looking ahead having buried that chapter.
Watch Video|New Delhi: Pooja Ghatkar Wins Bronze Medal In Women’s 10m Air Rifle At ISSF Shooting World Cup
Ghatkar, who started the final with a 10.4, was consistent with her scores barring a couple of blips and was placed second with 104.6 at the end of first competition stage. Even as the Indian kept producing good high scores, Lijie proved to be a tough competitor, while Mengayo extended her lead at the top.
Mentored by Olympic bronze-medallist Gagan Narang, Ghatkar managed a fine 10.8 and 10.7 in her 19th and 21st shots to assure herself of a medal.
In the course of her campaign, Ghatkar faced an obstacle as the blinder of her gun fell and she had to shoot her final few shots with an eye closed, a remarkable achievement. Helping her overcome the obstacle were the tips from Narang on the eve of the event. In the qualification, Ghatkar finished in second position with 418.0 behind eventual champion Mengayo (418.6) and ahead of the Lijie (417.7).