Commonwealth Games 2018: Shreyasi Singh, Om Mitharval finish India’s day in shooting on a high

Gold Coast: Shreyasi Singh shot her way to a career-best gold medal in the women’s double trap while there was a bronze each for Om Mitharval and Ankur Mittal, as Indian shooters extended their domination in the 21st Commonwealth Games.

Shreyasi aggregated 96 in the finals, same as Emma Cox, but prevailed over the Australian in a shoot-off by striking down both birds even as the Indian’s opponent missed the target in her second attempt.

Harvard University student Varsha Varman finished fourth with 86, narrowly missing out on a bronze to Scotland’s Linda Pearson, who shot 87.

Om Prakash Mitharval settled for the bronze medal in the men’s 50m pistol event with 201.1 but the fancied Jitu Rai finished a disappointing 8th with 105.0.

Ankur Mittal added to the medal rush by winning a bronze in the men’s double trap event even as Mohammed Asab (43) finished fourth, a climb-down from the bronze he won in Glasgow four years ago.

Mittal finished third on the podium after scoring 53 in the finals at the Belmont Shooting Centre.

In the women’s double trap, the 26-year-old Shreyasi shot rounds of 24 25 22 and 25 and the two shooters finished with identical scores of 96 from their 120 shots in four rounds.

A Delhi University graduate, Shreyasi held her nerve in the shoot-off to have the last laugh and improve on her silver-winning showing at the Glasgow Games four years ago.

Cox missed 12 of her 30 shots in the fourth round after placing herself in the gold medal position.

Shreyasi was in the second position while Varsha was third after three rounds. In the last round, Shreyasi shot the highest of all competitors (25) to confirm herself a silver.

In a dramatic final round, Shreyasi was among the first batch of shooters and her score of 96 meant that Emma, who was in the second batch, needed 19 out of 30 to win gold.

Having hit 23, 28 and 27 in the previous three rounds, Shreyasi looked destined for a lesser medal. But as it happened, wind conditions changed, it became cloudy and Emma shot 18 to tie with Shreyasi at the top.

“I’m feeling really well. In 2014, I won the silver and I was really upset that I couldn’t win the gold but now, also I was trailing, but when I got the opportunity to fight more and fight harder in the shoot off, I was really happy about that, and I gave my 100 per cent,” Shreyasi said.

In the men’s 50m pistol, both Jitu, who won gold two days earlier in the 10m air pistol and Om Prakash Mitharval, bronze winner in the same event, qualified for the eight-man final.

However, while Om Prakash repeated his performance to notch up his second bronze of the Games, Jitu finished eighth with a score of 105 and was the first to be eliminated at the 12th shot mark.

Om Prakash had earlier topped qualification with a score of 549 out of 600 while Jitu had qualified sixth with 542.

Australian Daniel Repacholi won gold in the event with a finals score of 227.2, a Games record while Bangladesh’s Shakil Ahmed bagged silver with 220.5.

In day’s last shooting final, Mittal shot 53 out of 60 to go out in third place while Asab shot 43 out of the first 50 targets.

Scotland’s David McMath finished with 74 for another Games record to beat Tim Kneale of Isle of Man who managed 70, for gold.

Mittal and Tim were tied at 53, but the Indian had to settle for bronze because Tim had qualified for the final with a higher qualification ranking.

Shreyasi, whose grandfather and father served in the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) as its president, represented the country in two events at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games Delhi but failed to win a single medal.

The Delhi-born Shreyasi won the individual silver medal in double trap in Glasgow and followed that by winning a bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

Recently, she won a silver medal in the double trap event at the 2017 Commonwealth Shooting Championships.