Shooting: Manu, Arjun, among day one winners at Rifle/Pistol selection trials

Bhopal, April 13 (IANS) Manu Bhaker, fresh from a World Cup bronze at the same Finals Hall of the MP State Shooting Academy Range in Bhopal, was among the Day One winners at the National Rifle/Pistol Selection Trials 3 & 4, along with the likes of Arjun Babuta and Ashi Chouksey.
These trials will be important from the perspective of Indian team selection for important events like the World Championships and the Asian Games. The juniors will also be vying for places in the Junior World Cup and Junior World Championships squads.
Manu outgunned on-the-comeback trail local favourite Chinki Yadav 31-29 in the medal match to clinch the women’s 25m Pistol title. Rhythm Sangwan won bronze through a shoot-off with Neha. Rhythm had topped the qualifying stage with a 583 ahead of Manu (580), with Chinki qualifying sixth with a 577.
However, Manu proved better on the day when it mattered most.
In the men’s 10m Air Rifle T3, Punjab’s Arjun Babuta overcame the Railways’ Akhil Sheoran 16-6 in the gold medal match. The two had entered the gold shootout finishing 1-2 in the ranking round. Arjun was in scintillating form topping the qualifying round with a 634.5. The national record stands with Rudrankksh Patil at 633.2, however, scores at trials are not considered for records.
In the women’s 50m Rifle 3-Positions, hosts Madhya Pradesh won gold when Ashi Chouksey defeated Odisha’s Shriyanka Sadangi 16-10. It was a pillar-to-post effort from the local girl as she topped qualifying with a 589 and then the ranking round as well with a score of 407.3.
Among the juniors who won on the day were Dhanush Srikanth (10m air rifle men) and Nikita Kundu (50m rifle 3 positions women).

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