New Delhi, September 20: Fresh from his Silver medal at the World Championship 10 days back, Jitu stormed to Gold in Incheon, making it 6 medals in a row in 6 competitions in World Shooting Since June.
Jitu the World No 5 qualified in 7th place for the final with a score of 559. World Champion Jin Jingoh of Korea qualified in first place with 568. In the final Jitu was in the hunt from the word go and stayed in touch with the leaders despite a shaky start. But the form, which has seen him dominate World Shooting and rise to World No 5 in 50m Pistol, ensured he started to catch up with the best. He took the lead in the 19th shot and on the final shot clinched the Gold as Vietnam's Nguyen Hoang Phuong cracked under the pressure. Jitu held his nerve and a 8.4 clinched India's first Gold.
Jitu has already won India a quota place for the 2016 Rio Olympics and this form puts him firmly in contention for an Olympic Medal.
Elated from India’s performance at the Asian Games 2014, Mr. Raninder Singh, President, NRAI, who is currently in Spain with the team for the World Shooting Championships said, “It’s a great feeling to see Jitu Rai do it again. His consistency and hunger for more has helped him outclass the field very often. Jitu has earned the rare distinction in International shooting, for a single athlete to earn a medal for his country in every competition he has participated in this calendar year. He is truly a phenomenon and inspiration to our country and his team mates, and we hope that he earns many more laurels for us in the days to come.”
This was India's second medal at the ongoing Asian Games after Shweta Chaudhry's bronze in the 10M air pistol event early in the morning today. Shweta, who had won Silver in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, won a Bronze shooting a total of 176.4 in the final to clinch the bronze medal. Earlier in the day Shweta, ranked 46th in the world, took all by surprise as she finished fourth in the qualifying round with a score of 383.
Commenting on Shweta’s Bronze medal he further added, “Shweta’s Bronze in the 10 M Air Pistol category has once again proven that the Indian Shooting Squad has a strong bench and we are here to win Medals. Shweta has performed brilliantly, and kept the national Flag flying high. We hope that Shweta and Jitu form to be the stepping stone for many more Medals in the Asian Games this year and it helps the confidence levels of the Indian contingent.”
In the Men’s Trap event, 2006 World Champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu shot 72 out of 75 to stay in contention for a medal on day 2 of the competition at Incheon.
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