India began its International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup with a Gold medal. Heena Sidhu and Jeetu Rai won the top honours in the 10m Mixed Team Air Pistol segment. The pair finished ahead of the France and China teams. India is hosting the tournament for the first time in its history. Jitu Rai, who is the reigning Asian Games Champion, is winning his first Gold in the World Cup while it is Heena Sidhu’s second. Her first came in the 2013 Worlds where she had won in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol category.
Rai and Sidhu finished with 483.4 points, while Florian Fouquet and Celine Goberville of France took Silver with 481.1. China’s Xiaoxue Cai and Wei Yang came third with 418.2 points. Earlier the Indian pair had taken the top spot in the qualifiers too. “It feels great to win here in front of our people, even if this puts a little extra-pressure on us,” said Sidhu at the end of the medal ceremony. “There were high expectations on us and a lot of eyes were looking at me and Jitu for this final, that’s why we trained a lot together in the last days.”
“We like this format, it’s a bit longer than the other ones we tried, but we like definitely like it,” added Rai, who previously won two medals during the ISSF World Cup Stage 1 that took place in New Delhi last February and March.