Shooter Harpreet Singh forces triple gold medallist Vijay to settle for silver

first_imgIt was a superb Sunday for the Indian pistol team with Harpreet Singh and Vijay Kumar powering to a gold-silver finish in the 25m centre fire pistol singles event. The double win came amid dramatic scenes at the Karni Singh shooting range.Manavjit Singh Sandhu won a bronze for the country in the men’s trap event to take the shooters’ overall tally to 13 gold, eight silver and three bronze medals.(From left) Silver medallist Vijay Kumar and gold medal winner Harpeet Singh.But in the women’s 10m air rifle singles, India’s Suma Shirur and Kavitha Yadav finished fourth and fifth. Singapore’s Xiang Wei Jasmine Ser won the gold with a final Games record of 501.7 points, while Malaysia bagged silver and bronze.Earlier, Navy shooter Harpreet scored 288 points in the precision round to end up third in the overall standings behind Vijay (290) and Lip Meng Poh (291) of Singapore. But in the duelling round, considered to be Indian shooters’ strong point, he shot 292 to romp home by a margin of six points.However, the drama was yet to unfold. Behind Harpreet, a four-way tie for the second spot saw Vijay and Poh take on England’s Michael Gault and Australia’s Michelangelo Giustiniano in a shoot-off.Giustiniano, whose favourite gun had malfunctioned, was running short of ammunition for his spare gun and decided not to fire the five ‘sighter’ shots before the shoot-off. Subsequently, the 57-year-old shot into his neighbour Poh’s target.Vijay shot a 49 and the Singapore team decided to lodge an official protest that their shooter had shot a 50, rather than the 48 the scoreboard showed.advertisementBut a device known as the ‘backing target’ clarified the issue. This card, placed behind the target, enables the jury to see what angle the bullet has come from, thus helping to judge which shooter has fired it. Harpreet thanked Vijay, who finished with three golds and a silver medal, for his victory.”We train together and Vijay guides me a lot. But we don’t meet that often and it’s not always possible to train together during competitions,” the man from Karnal said. At the outdoor shotgun ranges, India were in a strong position heading into the final.Sandhu was in the joint lead with a score of 123 while Mansher Singh qualified fifth with 121 points. But it began to go pearshaped for the pair at the beginning of the final with both missing three of their first five birds. To add to their troubles, the wind had picked up and was pushing the targets lower and across to the right.Sandhu managed to battle the odds and came back to force a shoot-off for third place with Australia’s Adam Vella, winning the bronze on the second shot.By then, Mansher had fallen by the wayside while England’s Aaron Heading had shot 24 to break the Final Games Record of 138 by a whopping nine birds. Australian legend Michael Diamond took the silver with a score of 146.Sandhu said the pairs event on Friday, where India got silver despite shooting 197/200, had taken a lot out of him. “First of all, there has been the pressure of doing well at home and on top of that, the pairs took a lot out of me and Mansher. Then there was the wind. So to come back and get bronze was not really a bad result,” he said.last_img