NEW DELHI, Feb 24: Pooja Ghatkar overcame technical issues to clinch the women�s 10m air rifle bronze medal as hosts India opened their account on a positive note in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup here today.
Deepak Kumar, competing in his maiden World Cup, gave a good account of himself and finished fifth in men�s 10m air rifle final with a score of 185.4, while Ravi Kumar was placed eighth with 122.0 after having made the cut for the eight-man final. They were fourth and sixth in the qualification.
In the women�s trap event, Rajeshwari Kumari (17th), Seema Tomar (22nd) and Manisha Kheer (29th) failed to clear the qualification hurdle.
From India�s perspective, the day belonged to the 27-year-old Ghatkar, who, despite a �torn� blinder, displayed exemplary composure to secure a podium finish.
Ghatkar lost her father at a very young age and her mother, having acknowledged her daughter�s penchant for the sport, encouraged her all along. It would be wise to say that her mother�s belief in Ghatkar�s ability to shoot is paying dividends now.
The former Asian champion shot 228.8 in the final of 10m air rifle to finish third on the podium and win her maiden World Cup medal, at the Karni Singh Shooting Range, after two final appearance in the past.
China�s Mengyao Shi won the gold medal with 252.1 while setting a new world record in the event. Mengyao�s compatriot Dong Lijie bagged the silver with a score of 248.9 on day one of competitions.
Ghatkar, who had missed out on a Rio Olympics quota place by a whisker last year, said she was looking ahead having buried that chapter.
Ghatkar, who started the final with a 10.4, was consistent with her scores baring a couple of blips and was placed second with 104.6 at the end of first competition stage. Even as the Indian kept producing good high scores, Lijie proved to be a tough competitor, while Mengayo extended her lead at the top.
Mentored by Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang, Ghatkar managed a fine 10.8 and 10.7 in her 19th and 21st shots to assure herself of a medal.
In the course of her campaign, Ghatkar faced an obstacle as the blinder of her gun fell and she had to shoot her final few shots with an eye closed, a remarkable achievement. Helping her overcoming the obstacle was the tips from Narang on the eve of the event. � PTI