Indian shooter Jitu Rai, who won gold in the men’s 10m Air Pistol in some style, said he had “unflinching belief” in his ability to perform well in the finals. Rai finished fourth in the qualifying round, behind compatriot Om Mitharval who broke the qualification games record. “Frankly speaking, my qualification score was not very good, but I had 100 percent faith in my ability that I can do it, because I have done well in the finals and won many medals in the past. My belief was unflinching,” the unassuming Rai said.
Rai seemingly had his sights set on a different record. His score of 235.1 in the finals was enough to break the Commonwealth Games record and land him the gold.
“Two-three low scores pulled me down but then my belief helped me. That makes me really happy. So, I was confident of covering it in the finals and I never back off. So again, I am reaping the rewards of all the hard word work I have put in during training,” he said.
Mitharval, however, couldn’t convert his form in the qualifying to a gold. He finished third behind Australia’s Kerry Bell in the finals.
Debutant Mehuli Ghosh wins silver
Despite forcing a shoot-off in the women’s 10m Air Rifle, 17-year-old shooter Mehuli Ghosh had to settle for a silver medal. Ghosh, however, celebrated a tad early after shooting a perfect 10.9 in her last attempt, thinking she had won the gold. Little did she realise that the scores were tied. When asked about her premature celebration, Ghosh said: “It was my mistake. I was so focused on the game I didn’t notice it was only a shoot-off.”
She eventually lost to Singapore’s Martina Lindsay Veloso in the shoot-off. Both Veloso and Ghosh shot a Games record 247.2 before the Singaporean had the last laugh with a 10.3 in the shoot-off as her Indian rival managed 9.9 at the Belmont Shooting Centre.
The 17-year-old, who trains at Olympian Joydeep Karmakar’s academy in Kolkata, added, “It was my first Commonwealth Games. I’m happy but definitely not satisfied.”
CWG 2018 Medal Tally
On her plans for future competitions, she said, “I will try harder next time. I know I can do more and will try my best.”
For defending gold-medallist Apurvi Chandela, the event ended in dissapointment as she slipped to bronze. Chandela had earlier smashed her own Commonwealth Games qualifying record from four years back by scoring 423.2.
On her performance Chandela said, “Very good overall, a medal for my country again. Maybe a few shots could have been better, but overall I am happy with my medal.”
with PTI inputs
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