New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): Former world number one and Tokyo 2020 finalist Saurabh Chaudhary’s welcome return to the winner’s circle was the highlight of the penultimate day of the National Selection Trials 5 and 6 for Group A Rifle and Pistol shooters. Fellow Olympian Manu Bhaker also registered back-to-back wins, while Paris 2024 quota winner Swapnil Kusale, notched up the Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions (3P) T6 winner’s title at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting range, here in the outskirts of the national capital. Saurabh won the Men’s 10m Air Pistol T5 trials and Manu was victorious in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol T5 competition.
It was a tight 49-man qualification round which Saurabh ended up topping with a score of 582, but only by virtue of more inner 10s than the Navy’s Ujjwal Malik and his good friend and Tokyo Olympics mate Abhishek Verma, as the top three finished on the same score.
It was also certainly not the best final Saurabh had ever shot but in the end, he did enough to ward off Ujjwal, finishing with 242.2 to the Navy man’s 240.4. Nine of Saurabh’s last 10 shots were slim to mid-10s. Udhayveer Sidhu of Punjab was third with 218.6.
Ruchita Vinerkar of the Railways topped the Women’s 10m Air Pistol T5 qualification, logging 580 on a day of moderate scores. Manu qualified fifth with 575, with present India international Rhythm Sangwan and Olympian Annu Raj Singh also making the top eight.
The Youth Olympic champion however proved a class apart in the final winning by a massive 4.7 points in the end over Haryana teammate Surbhi Rao. Manu ended with 242.8 points after the 24-shot final. Ruchita finished third. This was Manu’s second win in two days as she had won the Women’s 25m Pistol T6 trials on Wednesday.
Swapnil had to miss the Men’s T5 3P final yesterday due to visa requirements but amends on the day with some superb shooting. He topped the T6 qualification with a quality 591 and then led after every position in the final to go from strength to strength and finish with 461.6. Such was his dominance that the Navy’s Niraj Kumar was a full five points behind with 456.6. Olympian Deepak Kumar of the Air Force was third with 442.8.
Among the junior results, West Bengal’s Adriyan Karmakar won the Men’s 3P while Haryana’s Suruchi won the Women’s 10m Air Pistol. The Men’s 10m Air Pistol Junior event was won by another Haryana shooter Samrat Rana.
Friday, the final day of the trials has four finals lined up including the Men’s and Women’s 10m Air Pistol T6. (ANI)
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