Adding on the list of fantastic performances at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Mexico was India’s Akhil Sheoran. The youngster won a Gold in the 50m Rifle 3 positions in spectacular fashion and, thus, became the fourth Indian in the tournament to win a medal on their World Cup debut.
Sheoran’s performance adds on to the list of already great performances by the Indian shooters in Guadalajara. As a consequence, India are currently at the top of the medal table at the tournament.
Akhil Sheoran’s Gold was the fourth in the tournament for India. With it, he theoretically ensured a top finish for India which would be a first for India who have never emerged with the highest medal tally in an ISSF World Cup.
The difference in class was clearly visible in Akhil Sheoran’s event. Top-finishing Sheoran shot 455.6 in the final to get the better of Austria’s Bernhard Pickl who finished in second place with 452- the difference in points between the two places speaking volumes.
The fray of shooters included some tough names which makes Akhil’s spectacular performance even more notable. The bunch of shooters included 38-time ISSF medallist and Hungarian star shooter Peter Sidi, air rifle gold medallist Istvan Peni, Rio Olympic Bronze medallist Alexis Reynauld of France and of course, India’s very own Sanjeev Rajput.
And here is what Akhil Sheoran has achieved so far
Silver – 10 m Air Rifle, National Games, 2015.
Bronze – 10 m Air Rifle, International shooting, 2015.
Silver – Junior world cup, Suhl 2015.
— The Bridge (@TheBridge_IN) March 10, 2018
In fact, after the initial round of shots, it was Rajput who was leading the table with the maximum number of points with the best shots. Akhil was somewhere around fourth and to make up that score difference to ultimately bag Gold is indeed commendable.
The past few months have been particularly disheartening for Indian shooters given the discipline’s exclusion for the subsequent editions of the Commonwealth Games. As is the case with India’s Olympic medals throughout history, the majority of India’s CWG medals have come from Shooting.
For the Commonwealth Games Federation to exclude that is a huge loss for Indian shooters who, for many years, have considered the Commonwealth Games their favourite hunting ground. Undoubtedly, this decision will cause a major dent in the country’s medal tally this year.