ISSF World Cup 2021: Rahi Sarnobat ignites hopes for India in shooting at the Olympics
Indian 25m pistol shooter, Rahi Sarnobat clinched the first Gold medal for India at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Croatia.
The Tokyo-bound Indian shooting contingent is currently competing in the ongoing ISSF World Cup, Croatia. Ahead of Tokyo Olympics, this will be the last mega-event for shooters.
The Indian shooting team dominated the medal tally at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, however, they could not repeat the same at Croatia.
With the competition rising before Tokyo Olympics, Rahi Sarnobat produced a sensational performance. Sarnobat clinched India's first gold medal at Croatia in the 25m pistol event.
Rahi shines at the ISSF World cup 2021
Tokyo-bound Indian shooters Rahi Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker both made it to the finals for the 25m pistol women's event. While Manu finished at the 7th position, it was Rahi's day to shine as she clinched the gold medal.
Since the 2021 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, Rahi has been consistent with her performance. Notably, she has improved her scores in Croatia. Rahi Sarnobat once mentioned match pressure helps her give her best outing, and it is evident in her scores.
In the 25m pistol women's event there are two qualification rounds: precision and rapid. The scores of both rounds are combined to select the top 8 finalists.
In the precision round, Rahi scored 295 followed by 296 in the rapid-fire round. After combining the results, Sarnobat entered the finals with 591 at the second position. Another shooter in the fray, Manu Bhaker also entered the finals with 588 at the third position.
Rahi aimed at Olympic preparation, not medal
Being the last competitive event before Tokyo Olympics, shooters have been focusing on the bigger picture.
In the finals, Rahi shot so flawlessly that she was confident she's taking home gold. Interestingly, her score is even brighter than her medal.
Sarnobat shot a 39/50 in the final round, just one point less than the world record. She left her competitor Mathilde Lamolle eight points behind at the second position. When Rahi confirmed her gold, she strategically tried to experiment with her weapon ahead of Tokyo Olympics.
After the match, Rahi mentioned that her goal was to check her technique and weapon ahead of Tokyo, not the medal. It was a bonus for her and the nation.
Rahi's outing has made her chances of reaching the Olympic finals quite real. As in the past, she struggled in the qualifications but has now improved her qualification performance.
The competition in the 25m women's event was not a cakewalk, with Olympians and world champions competing. Manu Bhaker also had a good outing, as she finished third in the qualification rounds.
India has been dominating the 10m air rifle and pistol events over the years. However, considering Rahi's incredible current form, India's chances in the 25m pistol also look formidable.