New Delhi: Yashaswini Singh Deswal stunned former Olympic and world champion Ukraine’s Olena Kostevych to win the women’s 10m air pistol gold at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The 22-year old also won the ninth Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota place for her country in the process.
First she topped qualification with a superb 582 leading from start to finish in the 60-shot round. But what was to follow can only be described as the stuff of dreams.
She entered the final having to be one of six finalists who were eligible to win quotas, among them Kostevych.
Playing her fifth senior world cup and only her second final, the former junior world champion, led from the first shot-save the 15thwhen she fell just 0.1 behind to regain the lead on the 16th; of the 24-shot final to finish with 236.7 to the Ukranian champion’s 234.8 for a memorable victory. Jasmina Milovanovic of Serbia won bronze with 215.7.
— ISSF (@ISSF_Shooting) August 28, 2019
She was human. Stuttering when she did not want to, like during the 21stshot when she scored a 9.7 bringing about a grimace, looking aware of the champion closing in who had roared with a 10.9. But she was in their for a fight, hitting back immediately with a 10.5, like she had been throughout the final.
Her two final shots where in the 9s, but importantly both were higher than those of the Ukranian champion.
Among India’s other competitors in the event Annu Raj Singh shot 572 for a 21stplace finish while Shweta Singh finished 31stshooting a score of 568 in qualifying.
Earlier in the day Kajal Saini of India delivered a hugely improved performance in the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions (3P) coming in 22ndwith a qualifying round score of 1167. Former world champion in Prone, Tejaswini Sawant finished 47thwith a score of 1156.
In 3P there are a total of 120 shots in qualifying, divided equally among the Kneeling, Prone and Standing positions. The top eight make the final.
In the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (RFP), Adarsh Singh and Anish Bhanwala shot 291 out of 300 in the first Precision round to be in 13thand 14thspots respectively. Anhad Jawanda, the third Indian in the fray shot 281 to be in 48thspot.
The trio will comeback for the final Rapid Fire round on Sunday to try and make it among the top six finalists. The Men’s RFP is the only final scheduled for Sunday.
Indians also continued to do well in the non-competition Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) section. Manu Bhaker and Esha Singh finished 1-2 in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol shooting scores of 580 and 577 respectively, which would have seen them both through to the finals in case they were competing for medals.