17-year-old Dhanush Srikanth showed great grit and talent as he shone in the star-studded air rifle competition in the sixth National shooting selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range on Saturday. Apart from him, Arjun Singh Cheema and Mitesh Kumar Manilal Gohil also topped their events.
The youngster has been a product of the Gagan Narang’s Gun For Glory academy and has been catching eyeballs with some record scores this season despite his impaired hearing issue. Saturday saw the shooter getting the better of Army’s Pankaj Kumar, who had qualified from the top position with a score of 631.8. Srikanth edged Kumar by 1.4 in the men’s event, which had as many as 362 shooters.
The third position was taken by Sandeep Singh, who was seen competing in the MQS section in the World Cups, as he finished ahead of Ravi Kumar, Divyansh Singh Panwar and Asiad silver medallist Deepak Kumar.
In the junior event, Dhanush leapfrogged Keval Jashvantbhai Prajapati, who had topped the qualification round, by 0.4 points. The second place was taken by Youth Olympics silver medallist Shahu Tushar Mane while T. R. Srijay finished third. Quite surprisingly, world junior champion Hriday Hazarika came fifth in the event.
The other events included the non-Olympic men’s 50-metre free pistol, which saw Arjun Singh Cheema topping with 562. Arjun finished atop in the junior event as well, where he ended up six points ahead of Gaurav Rana and Omkar Singh, while the former World Championship silver medallist Asian gold medallist Jitu Rai finished seventh with a score 553.
The junior men’s sports pistol saw Mitesh Kumar Manilal Gohil shooting 583 to get the better of World junior champion Udhayveer Sidhu by four points.