Young Indian shooter Nischal has won the silver in the women’s 50m rifle 3 Positions at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
She gave India their second medal on the concluding day of the tournament. This was her very first senior World Cup appearance.
She finished behind Norwegian rifle ace Jeanette Hegg Duestad with a score of 458.0 in the final. Duestad is the reigning air rifle European champion and 300m 3 position World Champion and has 12 ISSF World Cup medals to her name including five gold. She was also fourth at the Tokyo Olympics.
Nischal was in supreme form throughout the day, breaking the qualification national record in women’s 3 position in the process.
“It is my first world cup final and I have a medal, so I am very happy,” the teenager said in a release.
The elimination rounds in the morning, Nischal shot a solid 587 in relay one to safely make it to qualification. So did her two compatriots, previous qualification national record holder Anjum Moudgil and Ayushi Podder.
Then in qualification, Nischal shot a sublime 592 including a perfect 200 in the prone position, to erase Anjum’s score of 591 shot in the President’s Cup in Cairo last year. Anjum herself shot a solid 586, but finished 10th to miss the final by a point. Ayushi was further back in 35th with 580.
The final had a stellar field. Besides Duestad, there was qualification topper (594) and world champion Wanru Miao of China, 2018 Youth Olympic champion Stephanie Grundsoee of Denmark, Italian Olympian Sofia Ceccarello and senior Polish shooter Aneta Stankiewicz, among others.
Nischal went head-to-head with the Duestad from the start of the 45-shot final. She was 0.1 behind the Norwegian after the first 15 kneeling shots and the same after the consequent 15 shots in the prone position.
Duestad closed out calmly for gold with a 10.2 and a score of 461.5, a clear 3.5 ahead of the Haryana shooter.
Gurpreet Singh was in action in the other medal event of the concluding day but he could not make much headway, shooting 574 to finish 15th in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol.
The 16-member Indian team returned with one gold and one silver from the Rio World Cup and was seventh in the standings.
Elavenil Valarivan had won the Women’s 10m Air Rifle gold.