Anish Bhanwala won the first medal for India at the ISSF World Cup Final after winning the bronze in the men's 25m rapid-fire pistol (RFP) at the Lusail Shooting range in Doha, Qatar.
It capped a momentous year for the 21-year-old, where he broke through with a first-ever senior individual ISSF World Cup stage medal a first senior Asian Championships medal, and a Paris Olympic quota place to book.
Anish shot 27 in the final on Friday evening, finishing behind world championship bronze medallist German Peter Florian who took gold with 35 hits, and reigning world champion and double Olympic medallist Li Yuehong of China, who was second with 33 hits after eight series of five rapid-fire shots.
Anish, who was India’s final start at the Doha WCF, would have liked an easier passage to the top six than what a return of 92 in the final five rapid-fire series of shots allowed him on Friday afternoon. His qualification score of 581, was just enough to pip German ace Christian Reitz to seventh.
Chinese Jueming Zhang was the first to be eliminated with 12 hits in the first four series.
He was followed by Clement Bessaguet who had 18 after five and then Czech Matej Rampula wilted with a no-hit in the sixth series, which ensured Anish’s medal. The Indian was two behind the Chinese World Champion when he bowed out after the seventh series.
Akhil finishes fifth in men’s 3P
Earlier in the day, Akhil Sheoran finished fifth in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) event, making him the fifth Indian finalist at this year’s WCF to finish outside the medals.
The seasoned Akhil, who has also had a great year, bolstered by a bronze in the Baku World Championship, which also helped him secure a Paris Olympic quota for the country.
Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Sift Kaur Samra had also qualified for the season-ending event in 3P shooting but pulled out ahead of the tournament.