Jitu falters, Matsuda clinches air pistol gold

October 27, 2017

Qatar Open Shotgun meet

Ace pistol shooter Jitu Rai threw a lifeline to former World Champion Tomoyuki Matsuda, and the Japanese grabbed the chance to clinch the men’s air pistol gold in the World Cup Final at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Thursday.

There was little hope for the 41-year-old Japanese when he scored 573 in qualification. However, needing a 95 on the last series, Jitu struck a string of 9s in the climax and missed qualification by one point.

Reigning Olympic champion Xuan Vinh Hoang of Vietnam had ensured the tenth and last spot with a 568, and Jitu was hovering between the two champions, for the most part. Jitu did improve after a lethargic start, but was not at his best in the end, in a series of 94, 96, 96, 97, 95 and 94. He even struck the odd eight to complicate matters.

Matsuda was brilliant in the final as he led from the start to finish with a world record 241.8, beating 19-year-old Pavlo Korostylov of Ukraine by 0.7 point. The latter equalled the world junior record. Defending champion Damir Mikec of Serbia settled for fourth behind Oleh Omelchuk of Ukraine.

In men’s skeet, Riccardo Filippelli of Italy emerged the champion, as he won the shoot-off 4-3 against Ben Llewellin of Britain after the two had tied on a world record 59 out of 60 in the final.

The Italian had also won the gold in February at the same venue. For the host, a lot would be at stake on Friday in men’s double trap, with Ankur Mittal, Sangram Dahiya and Shapath Bharadwaj ready to showcase their ability.

The results: Men: 10m air pistol: 1. Tomoyuki Matsuda (Jpn) 241.8 (WR) 573; 2. Pavlo Korostylov (Ukr) 241.1 (EWRJ) 583; 3. Oleh Omelchuk (Ukr) 218.8 (585); 9. Jitu Rai 572.

Skeet: 1. Riccardo Filippelli (Ita) 59 WR (4) 122(2); 2. Ben Lllewellin (GBR) 59(3) 123(11); 3. Federico Gil (Arg) 49 (122)1.

Women:10m air rifle: 1. Andrea Arsovic (Srb) 251.3 (415.4); 2. Laura-Georgeta Coman (Rou) 249.7 (414.1); 3. Peng Xinyi (Chn) 228.5 (415.1); 9. Pooja Ghatkar 412.4.

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