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Indian juniors snare four golds at Asian Shooting Championship

Indian colts snared as many as four gold medals in the juniors category to perch themselves firmly in second position on the medal tally behind powerhouses China at the 15th Asian Shooting Championship being held in Changwon, here on Thursday.

Harmehar Lally won the junior men’s Skeet, hitting 52 of the 60 targets in the final to lead an Indian 1-2 as Bhavtegh Gill clinched silver with 50 hits. The duo also teamed up with Rituraj Bundela to win the team gold in the event.

Two other team golds came in the women’s skeet and the women’s 10m air rifle competitions respectively.

Gautami Bhanot and Abhinav Shaw also won individual silver and bronze medals in the women’s and men’s 10m air rifle even as Raiza Dhillon won a silver in the junior women’s Skeet, to round off an eight-medal day for India, who now have six gold, five silver and two bronze medals from the campaign. They have also won one quota place for the Paris Olympics.

The medal rush began early on Thursday with the junior women’s Skeet, when Raiza Dhillon, Mufaddal Deesawala, and Sanjana Sood shot a total of 332 to win the junior women’s Skeet team gold. Raiza, who had topped the qualification round with a score of 116 out of 125, then went on to finish behind Diana Sabekova in the six-woman 60-shot final.

It was the turn of the junior men Skeet shooters thereafter as Harmehar, Bhavtegh, and Rituraj sealed the team gold with a total of 342. Harmehar and Bhavtegh then went on to win individual glory even as a third Indi Fridayan, Abhay Singh Sekhon finished fourth with a tally of 34 in the final.

Here too, Harmehar had topped the qualification round with a 117 to make the final.

The Rifle shooters then got down to business as three each made the final of the men’s and women’s 10m air rifle. Gautami, Sonam Maskar, and Jasmeen Kaur totalled an Asian junior record score of 1891.6 to clinch the women’s team title.

Gautami then shot 251.3 to clinch individual silver and Abhinav 227.6 for individual bronze.

The squad renews their quest for Paris quotas on Friday with the senior 10m Air Rifle Men’s and Women’s finals among others, on the roster.

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