Anjum Modgil

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Silver on World Cup debut

Kartik Sood & Tushar Dutt, Anjum shoots silver on Cup debut, March 11, 2018: The Times of India

Anjum Modgil celebrates after winning silver in Guadalajara
From: Kartik Sood & Tushar Dutt, Anjum shoots silver on Cup debut, March 11, 2018: The Times of India

Happiness continued to be a warm gun for India at the shooting World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico when Chandigarh shooter Anjum Modgil took silver in her maiden appearance in the finals.

Her medal in the women’s 50 m rifle 3 position put India’s top of the tally with eight medals including three gold and four bronze, their best World Cup showing so far. China closely trails with two gold and two silver.

A former pistol shooter, Ajum switched to rifles after non-availability of pistols at during her NCC stint in school. It was to prove a blessing in disguise. “I was a bit apprehensive before the final but I was confident owing to my performance in the qualifiers. I told myself that I had been waiting for this moment for long,” an elated Anjum told TOI from Mexico, “I don’t know whether I would have been able to reach this far, if I had stuck to pistol.”

The 50m rifle 3 position is considered amongst the toughest events in shooting, and while Anjum also reached her highest score of 1,170 on Friday, it wasn’t India’s first World Cup silver in this category. Anjum emulated Lajja Gowswami’s 2013 silver in the 2013 World Cup in Spain, the difference being Anjum’s effort came with double number of shots.

Anjum shot a total of 454.2 point in the 45-shot final to bag the silver. She trailed by just 1.2 points behind China’s Ruijiao Pei (455.4) who pocketed the gold while Pei’s fellow Chinese Ting Sun claimed the bronze, finishing with a score of 442.2. Anjum remained in medal contention from the beginning of the final and at the end of the 15-shot kneeling position, stood third behind Ruijiao and Slovakia’s Ziva Dvorsak. She took the lead after the second 5-shot prone position series, which followed the kneeling position and was 0.9 points clear of German Jolyn Beer at the end of it.

After the 15-shot prone series she was still in the lead. However, after the 10th shot of the last standing series when the first two finalists out of the eight were eliminated, Anjum was down to the fourth position. A brilliant 10.8 in the 41st shot took her up to the second position and she hung on finishing with scores of 10.2, 10.1, 9.5 and 10.2 to secure silver. “I have competed with some Olympians, but it did not matter as this was my first world cup final and I was focused,” she added.

“This is a special medal, since this has come in the new format. It is a tiring format for many women shooters, but other than the first match that I shot in this format in Delhi three months back, I never found it tiring. I trained myself according to the new format,” Anjum told TOI.

The rifle specialist said taking rest and planning the next shot is very important in the 120-shot format. “It is very important to plan your breaks in this format. Since you need to shoot 120 shots and not 60 anymore, you have to plan your shots carefully. I executed my plan well,” she said.

Another Indian, Gaayathri Nithyanadam finished 15th (1153) in the qualification round, while Tejaswini Sawant was placed 16th with the similar score, but four inner 10s less.

Meanwhile, it was a disappointment for young pistol shooter Anish Bhanwal, 15, in the 25m rapid fire pistol event as the Karnal boy finished 7th in the qualification round. Top six shooters advance for the final in rapid fire. And it was heartburn for Anish as he missed out on the final by just one inner 10.

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