Yashaswini Singh Deswal clinched the 10m air pistol gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, confirming India’s ninth quota place for Tokyo 2020 in shooting. This was India’s third gold medal at the event, following Elavenil Valarivan and Abhishek Verma’s efforts earlier.
India’s tremendous run at the World Cup continued on Saturday as the 22-year-old Deswal stunned former Olympic and World Champion Olena Kostevych of Ukraine to win her gold. Kostevych and Jasmina Milovanovic from Serbia completed the podium positions, with the Serbian earning the second quota place available at the event. For India, this was their second and final quota place earned in the 10m air pistol women’s event, following Manu Bhaker’s effort earlier in the season.
Deswal topped qualification with a superb 582 leading from start to finish in the 60-shot round, entering only her second final as one of six finalists eligible to win quotas. In her fifth senior World Cup, the former junior World champion led the way from the first shot. She fell just 0.1 behind in the 15th, only to regain the lead on the 16th. Deswal had a brief stutter during the 21st of the 24-shot final when she scored a 9.7 with the former champion closing. But she hit back immediately with a 10.5 and then closed out her triumph with two 9s. Deswal finished with 236.7 for a memorable victory over the Ukranian champion who finished with 234.8, and Milovanovic won bronze with 215.7. Annu Raj Singh (21st) and Shweta Singh (31st) – India’s other competitors in the event – shot 572 and 568 respectively.
In the women’s 50m rifle 3-positions earlier on the day, Kajal Saini delivered an improved performance coming in 22nd with a qualifying round score of 1167, while Tejaswini Sawant finished 47th with a score of 1156.
In the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, Adarsh Singh and Anish Bhanwala shot 291 out of 300 in the first Precision round to be placed 13th and 14th respectively. Anhad Jawanda, the other Indian in the event shot 281 to finish 48th. The trio will look to make the top six finalists slots when they come back for the final Rapid Fire round on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Manu Bhaker and Esha Singh ensured India’s good run in the non-competition Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) section. They finished 1-2 in the women’s 10m Air Pistol shooting scores of 580 and 577 respectively.