Pune: World Cup debutant Shahzar Rizvi claimed the Men’s 10m Air Pistol gold medal in Guadalajara, Mexico, on the Day 1 of the ISSF World Cup action as the shooting season began in great style.
The 23-year-old Indian Pistol shooter led the table for most of the final, finishing with 242.3 points and preceding Germany’s Christian Reitz and his teammate Jitu Rai.
Making his debut in an ISSF World Cup, Rizvi shot consistently good through the whole match, grabbing the lead after the 14th shot and maintaining it until the very end.
The 23-year-old - who previously placed 9th as a junior at the 2014 ISSF World Championship in Granada - also signed a new World Record in this event, finishing with 242.3 points and the gold medal around his neck.
Germany’s Christian Reitz made his way into the Air Pistol final for the first time in a World Cup, climbing on the second step of the podium and taking Silver with 239.7 points.
It was the 23rd World Cup medal for the 30-year-old German, who previously won 11 golds, 6 silvers and 5 bronzes in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men event.
On the third step of the podium, Rizvi was joined by his teammate Jitu Rai (30) who took bronze with 219.0 points.
Om Prakash Mitharval (22) - India’s third final participant - finished just outside of the podium, placing 4th in his first World Cup appearance and sealing his debut with 198.4.
Brazilian experienced shooter Julio Almeida nailed his 34th World Cup start in this event, taking 5th place with 177.8 points.
Almeida was followed by Peru’s 29-year-old Marko Carrillo and France’s 25-year-old Florian Fouquet, who respectively took 6th and 7th place in their first final participation. Carrillo’s final score was 154.2 points, while Fouquet finished with 134.6.
Starting the new season of international Shooting on a strong note, India won three medals on the day as Mehuli Ghosh, a world cup debutant like Shahzar, won bronze medal in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle event.
Likewise in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle, where the trio of Mehuli Ghosh, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil made it to the eight-woman final, finishing second, seventh and eighth respectively in the qualifying round.
In the Women’s 10m Air Rifle, Mehuli and Anjum Moudgil were in medal contention from the beginning, and after a sea-saw battle between them a 9.9 on the 17th shot meant Anjum ended in fourth position with a score of 208.6.
Mehuli won Bronze with a Junior World record score of 228.4 while China’s Hong Xu won Silver with 251.0.
Romania’s Laura Georgeta Coman, who won Gold in the Munich World Cup last year and a Silver at the World Cup Finals, came up with a classy display, leading from pillar to post in the final, finishing with 251.5.
National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President, Raninder Singh said: I wish the rest of the squad all the very best as well. We have key international events lined up throughout the year and a performance like this by youngsters of the squad bodes well.”
“Mehuli also needs to be equally nodded as she is still a Junior and to come up with a junior world record and a medal on debut at a Senior World Cup is no mean feat.