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ISSF Beijing World Cup: Anjum Moudgil-Divyansh Panwar, Manu Bhaker-Saurabh Chaudhary pairs strike gold for India

Beijing: Young Indian shooters dominated the mixed team competitions by winning two gold medals on day three of the ongoing ISSF World Cup to take the country on the top of medal tally on Thursday.

The teenage pairing of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary won their second gold in 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event in as many World Cup stages this year while another teenager Divyansh Panwar struck gold in Air Rifle Mixed Team event partnering the more accomplished Anjum Moudgil to help cap a memorable day for India.

 ISSF Beijing World Cup: Anjum Moudgil-Divyansh Panwar, Manu Bhaker-Saurabh Chaudhary pairs strike gold for India

Divyansh Panwar and Anjum Moudgil won the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event. Image Courtesy: Twitter @OfficialNRAI

The start of the day was all about a new pair, a new format and a new result. Anjum partnered Divyansh, who was in only his second senior competition, for the first time to beat the formidable Chinese pair of Liu Ruxuan and Yang Haoran 17-15 in a pulsating gold medal match.

The win was even more credible given that a new format was being tried by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) for the mixed events in Beijing.

At one stage, it looked like the Chinese pair would pull through but the Indians came back admirably well to tie at 15 each, before winning the shoot-off tiebreaker under pressure to win a stunning gold.

The second Indian team in the event, Apurvi Chandela and Deepak Kumar also reached the finals but finished sixth eventually.

Then came the icing on the cake with Manu and Saurabh's victory in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event. The teenage stars comprehensively defeated yet another Chinese pair consisting of former Olympic champion Pang Wei and 2019 New Delhi World Cup finalist Jiang Ranxin, 16-6 in the gold medal match.

Manu and Saurabh began from where they had left at the home World Cup in Delhi a couple of months back, beating top class opponents en route to the gold. They did enough to make it to the final eight and then beat an experienced German pair in the quarter-finals, a second Chinese pair in the semi-finals, before comprehensively beating Pang and Jiang 16-6 in the gold medal match.

The new format entailed the top eight teams qualifying for the final round where four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and a final would determine the eventual medallists.

The quarter-final was a 30-shot match-up between pairs in rifle while it was a 40-shot affair in pistol. The medal events would entail a series of single shots per competitor per team.

To decide the medals, the pair with the higher series aggregate would be allotted two points and the first team to reach 16 points would be adjudged the winner.

In the Air Rifle event, a single shot would start the final before the series of two shots kicked in.

Adarsh Singh, in the men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, was the best placed Indian after day one of qualification, shooting a score of 290 in the first precision stage to be in 15th position.

Anish Bhanwala shot 289 to be in 17th spot while Arpit Goel was lying 22nd after a round of 288. The trio goes into the second Rapid Fire stage on Friday for a shot at the final where the top six qualify. A total of 57 shooters are in the fray.

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Updated Date: Apr 25, 2019 20:31:39 IST