#MuchWow: Akhil Sheoran Wins Gold In 50m Rifle, 4th For India At Guadalajara ISSF World Cup

Sheoran became the fourth young Indian shooter to win a medal on his ISSF World Cup debut

Indian domination in Mexico continues as young shooter Akhil Sheoran clinched gold in men’s 50m rifle 3-Position on March 10, well ahead of the second-placed, as India continued their superlative run at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Collecting 455.6 points in the final to pip Austria’s Bernhard Pickl, the 22-year-old Sheoran became the fourth young Indian shooter to win a medal on his ISSF World Cup debut. after Shahzar Rizvi, Manu Bhaker, Anjum Moudgil along with Mehuli Ghosh put India on top of the medal standings.

Sheoran’s gold was India’s fourth of the competition and makes it almost certain that the country would finish on top of the medals tally for the first time in an ISSF World Cup.

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Sheoran’s performance shone through while facing experienced competitors including 38-time ISSF medallist and Hungarian rifle legend Peter Sidi, Rio Olympic Bronze medallist Alexis Reynauld of France and Hungarian air rifle gold medallist Istvan Peni.

Sanjeev Rajput, India’s champion 3-Position exponent was also competing. In the qualification round, he shot a solid 1176 points out of a possible 1200 to qualify second behind Peni who shot 1178 in a round of 40-shots.

Sheoran was fourth with 1174 points while young Swapnil Kusale, competing in his first World Cup, scored 1168 for seventh place to ensure all three Indians made it to the eight-man final.

Rajput had the best performance in 15-shot prone round among all qualifiers with a score of 398 out of 400 while both he and Sheoran had the strongest kneeling round among the eight with scores of 392 each.

In the final, Rajput was strongest off the blocks, being in the second spot after the first 10 kneeling shots, with Sheoran in third and Swapnil in joint-fourth place.

After five shots in the standing round, Sheoran was a point clear of the field with Peni moving to second. Sheoran led the field at the end of the third round with a comfortable 2.3 point margin.

Sheoran came up with a 10.8 in the 42nd shot to seal the gold in his favour. And even a 10.8 in the next shot could not help Raiput to finish on the podium and he had to be content with the fourth place.

Meanwhile, Manu Bhaker has qualified for the fourth place in the women’s 25m pistol final, shooting a score of 581. Annu Raj Singh shot 575 to finish 10th.