India’s Ankur Mittal won the silver medal at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in the men’s double trap event in New Delhi on Monday.
Mittal, who finished second in Monday’s final, is the second Indian to win an individual medal at the ongoing event. The 24-year-old Mittal finished second on the podium after he tallied 74, one behind gold medal winner James Willett of Australia. Great Britain’s James Dedman was third on the standings with 56.
While shotgun coach Marcelo Dradi called 15-year-old Shapath Bhardwaj’s performance the best of the day, he rated Mittal as one of the world’s best in this event alongside Willet.
Earlier on Friday, India’s Pooja Ghatkar had claimed a bronze in the 10-metre Air Rifle event.
Meanwhile on Monday, the duo of Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu triumphed in the 10m mixed team air pistol event.
However, since the mixed event is being used on a trial basis in line with IOC’s aim to achieve gender equality in its 2020 Tokyo Olympics program, medals are not being awarded even though the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) executive committee has ratified the recommendations.
In men’s double trap, Mittal’s fellow team-mate, Sangram Dahiya also featured in the top six but could manage only 24 points in the final. As per the new rules, the 50-shots double trap event has been stretched to a staggering 80 shots where elimination starts after the 30th shot in the six-man final.
Shapat Bhardwaj, in his maiden International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup with the senior team, could not make the cut that was made at 137, but nevertheless finished a creditable 10th with a score of 132 in the qualification stage.
Asian champion Mittal was in running for a gold medal but three consecutive misses in the final stages ensured a second-place finish, leaving the Australia, who missed one bird after the Indian’s hatrick of misses, to run away with the top prize.
“This was the first final under this rule, had no ide. Performance was good, my first medal here. It feels bad that the double trap event could be scrapped but at least it will be there till the Commonwealth and Asian Games next year, so I am focusing on it. The mixed trap event introduced doesn’t seem to be working out that well. Let’s see what they decide,” Mittal said.
“Last round the target was to hit 30 to enter final, so the motivation was there. Missed the last three shots because there was pressure. I felt very happy with way I performed, especially after the 24 I hit in the first round, that was bad,” he said.