Pune: Telangana’s Dhanush Srikant let his gun do the talking as he upstaged two-time Junior World Cup bronze medallist Punjab’s Arjun Babuta in the men’s Under-21 10m air rifle final at the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 at the Balewadi Shooting ranges here.
He was a picture of consistency through the day, topping the qualification with 629.7, his best score. He showed nerves of steel in the final where he was ahead of competition after each shot.
The 16-year-old, who has been shooting for just over two years after becoming a Taekwondo Dan 2, is a product of the Project Leap that Olympic medallist Gagan Narang’s Gun for Glory runs.
The under-17 final produced fireworks with only 0.2 points separating the gold medallist Avinash Yadav from Rajasthan’s Divyansh Singh. Yashvardhan of Rajasthan picked up a second medal for his State.
“I was not affected by who else was in the final. I wanted to score at least 10.7 with shot,” he said, through his interpreter and mind-trainer Kritika Pandey.
“I am glad that my coach (Neha Chauhan) taught me the value of having a proper follow through and I was able to secure my best score in the final to follow up my best in qualification.”
Arjun Babuta, who won Junior World Cup bronze medals in the Gabala in 2016 and in Sydney last year, was third in qualification and remained in that spot in the final. Goa’s Yash Yogesh earned silver, a mere 1.3 points behind the Hyderabad lad.
10m air rifle: 1. Dhanush Srikant (Telangana) 248.9; 2. Yash Yogesh (Goa) 247.6; 3. Arjun Babuta (Punjab) 225.6.
10m air rifle: 1. Avinash Yadav (Madhya Pradesh) 250.9, 2. Divyansh Singh P (Rajasthan) 250.7, Yashvardhan (Rajasthan) 228.1.