May 26, 2021 6:58:00 pm
Led by the sensational Saurabh Chaudhary, India’s Olympic-bound shooters produced a stellar show in the mixed air pistol and air rifle events of the European Championship here on Wednesday.
Participating in the Minimum Qualifying Section (MQS) section as guest invitees, Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar began the day by shooting a combined score of 630.6 in the first qualifying round.
They finished second overall among 51 pairs, five of which were shooting in the MQS section.
If they were part of the main event, the pair would have sailed through to the next stage where only the top eight make it.
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The Norwegian duo of Jaeanette Duestad and Henrik Larsen topped the stage with a European record score of 632.0.
Then, in the 10m air pistol mixed team competitions, India’s top pair comprising Manu Bhaker and Chaudhary too came overall second among 43 pairs, shooting a combined score of 580 out of a possible 600.
They finished behind the table-topping Russian pair of Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov. The Russians, competing in the regular competition, shot 583.
While both Elavenil and Divyansh were neck and neck in their 30-shot round, returning with scores of 315.8 to 314.8 respectively, Chaudhary was way ahead of almost the entire field yet again, shooting a stunning 294 out of 300.
Bhaker shot 286 as only the Russian world number three Chernousov was above Chaudhary, with a 295.
The second Indian pair in the mixed team rifle event, comprising Anjum Moudgil and Deepak Kumar, shot a total of 622.2 to finish 38th overall and third among five pairs in the MQS section.
Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Abhishek Verma, the second Indian team in the mixed team pistol competitions, also had a decent outing, finishing ninth overall with a score of 575. The Turkish pair above them was only a point ahead at 576.
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