Sift, Rhythm win again in national rifle and pistol shooting trials

Sift Kaur Samra and Rhythm Sangwan won the ongoing shooting national selection trials when they posted victories in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) and women’s 25m pistol T2 trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting range on Friday.

The Navy’s Kiran Ankush Jadhav also joined the winner’s circle, with a win in the men’s 10m air rifle T2, on day five of the trials.

Sift has been in the form of her life and gave another glimpse of that yet again with a stunning 595 in qualification, which included a perfect 200 in the first Kneeling position.

Bhakti Bhaskar Khamkar, who also shot well to finish second to Sift, was five points behind. Sift’s score was one more than her national record score set in the Asian Games earlier this year and one less than the world record.

In the eight-woman final, she shot 464.8, to give Olympian and state senior from Punjab Anjum Moudgil no chance, as the latter finished with 461.7. Priya of the Army was third.

The women’s 25m pistol T2 trials repeated the same pattern as T1 had done a few days ago, at least as far as the top two were concerned, but it also threw up a pleasant surprise.

Manu Bhaker again topped the qualifiers firing a 590, but it was Rhythm, who yet again piped her to the top spot with 35 hits to her 32. Just like in the T1 trials, Rhythm’s qualifying score of 578 and seventh place left a lot to be desired, but she was a top gun when it mattered most.

Former World Cup final gold medallist and world number one Heena Sidhu finished third overall with 27-hits and was second in the qualifiers with a high-score of 586.

In the men’s 10m air rifle, Kiran Jadhav shot brilliantly throughout the day, first posting a table-topping 633.4 and then nailing the final with a solid 252.8. One 10.9 adorned his 24-shot scoreboard while his lowest in the final was a 10.1 for his 17th shot. Assam’s Hriday Hazarika was second with 250.5 while Lagad Saurav Gorakh of the Navy was third.

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