Saturday 25 June 2016

Jitu Rai leaves 50m disappointment behind, wins 10m silver in World Cup

PUNE: A 10th place finish in 50m pistol qualification on Friday was compensated by a silver in the 10m air pistol by Jitu Rai as the Indian secured a podium finish at the ISSF World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan on Saturday. This was Jitu's sixth World Cup medal overall. Jitu had an average start to the qualification round, as he totaled 95 in the first series. But he stabilized soon and shot impressive series
of 97, 97, 98, 96 and 97 to total 580 in the qualification round.

But there was more drama in store. Jitu was not alone to score 580, there were six more shooters who had reached the score. But because Jitu had shot more inner 10s (22) than the other six, he was placed sixth in the qualification round.

In the final, Jitu had a desirable start. Despite shooting a 9.8 in his first shot, he shot a 10.2 and 10.5 in the first series of three shots to top the scores with 30.5.

He maintained the lead till the 10th shot (98.9) but a 9.7 in the 12th shot put him joint second. He was going neck and neck with the eventual gold medallist Brazil's Felipe Almeida Wu and Korean legendary shooter Jin Jongoh.

While the Brazilian shot 200 after 20 shots to win gold, Jitu was just 0.5 point behind to claim the silver. Jongoh on the other hand won the bronze with 178.8.

Jongoh had won gold in 50m pistol on Thursday. Other Indians in fray, Omkar Singh scored 575 to be placed 28th, while Rio-bound Gurpreet Singh was 42nd with a poor 569. 

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