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Shooter Rahi Sarnobat scripts history; clinches gold in ISSF World Cup

Last updated on: April 05, 2013 14:32 IST

Rahi Sarnobat scripted history on Friday, becoming the first Indian pistol shooter to clinch a gold medal in the ISSF World Cup, when she pipped local hope Kyeongae Kim 8-6 in the final of the 25m sports pistol event in Changwon, Korea.

Rahi joined an elite club of Indian rifle shooters -- Anjali Bhagwat, Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Ronjan Sodhi and Manavjit Singh Sandhu -- who won gold medals in the ISSF World Cups.

"It is a dream come true for me. I had been working hard with coach Anatoli Puddubny for the last few months at the Gun for Glory Academy and I am thankful to Lakshya and Vascon for the support they are providing me in this respect," said Rahi, who had earlier won a bronze medal in the 2011 ISSF World Cup in United States.

Rahi SarnobatThe Indian markswoman, who qualified for the semi-final stage in fourth position with a total score of 585, sealed a final berth as the second best semi-finalist with 15 points.

Kim topped the standings with 16 after the five series.

According to the new competition rules, the top eight players from the preliminaries qualify for the semi-finals, where points are given according to the number of inner 10s scored by a shooter in each series of five shots.

The top two shooters then qualify for the final, while the third and fourth-placed shooters face each other in the bronze medal play-off.

In the race-to-seven points' final, a shooter gets two points for winning the series, while a point each is given if both are tied.

After two tied series, Rahi was the first to get off the block in the third and opened up a two-point lead. But Kim hit back immediately, winning the next two series take a 6-4 lead and push the Indian to the corner.

Facing a must-win situation, Rahi upped the ante while her opponent struggled to keep her composure and lost the sixth and seventh series 3-1 and 2-1 respectively to hand the gold to the Indian.

It was, however, a disappointing end for the other Indian challengers. 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anisa Sayyed finished 21st with a score of 572, while National champion Sushma Singh had a score of 570 and finished 26th.

In the 10m Air Rifle event, none of the three Indian contenders could reach the final, national champion Apurvi Chandela finishing 30th with a total score of 407.8.

Pooja Ghatkar was India's best performer with a score of 410.3, while Elizabeth Susan Koshy scored 409.4 to finish 25th.

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