New Delhi, Feb 26, 2017: Day-3 of the ISSF World Cup New Delhi (IND) kicked-off with an exciting 10m Air Pistol Women final, which turned once again into a stage fo success for the People’s Republic of China.
2014 Junior World Champion Lin Yuemei (23) finished atop of the podium, outscoring the reigning Olympic Champion – her teammate Zhang Mengxue (26) – with 240.8 points, setting the new world record. Lin had already participated in senior events in 2015 and 2016, winning a World Cup Silver in Gabala (AZE) two years ago.
“I was kinda nervous during the match,” said Lin at the end of the medal ceremony. “Zhang is a great friend of mine, we train and spend a lot of time together. It’s a great feeling to win a medal here, in the first competition of the season.”
Olympic Champion Zhang scored 237.8 points to take the Silver, while Singapore’s 28-year-old Teo Shun Xie scored 217.4 points to win today’s Bronze medal.
Two teammates from Chinese Taipei, 21-year-old Yu Ai Wen and 33-year-old Tien Chia Chen followed the medallists in 4th and 5th place with 196.5 and 175.6 points, respectively. 20-year-old Michelle Skeries of Germany, competing in her first senior match after winning a Silver medal at last year’s ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl (GER) scored 154.4 points to finish in 6th place.
Golnoush Sebghatollahi (26) of Iran was the first to drop out of the elimination match, taking the 8th place with 113.7 points. India’s Harven Srao (30) followed her two shots later, closing the final in 7th place with 133.6 points.
In today’s second final, the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men, Chinese shooter Hui Zicheng climbed once again on the highest step of the ISSF World Cup podium. Indeed, it is the sixth career World Cup Gold for him, who curiously never claimed a Silver or Bronze in his career in this competition, walking on the 1st step everytime he reaches the podium.
Today, the 27-year-old performed an amazing comeback in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men final, as he was placed 7th after the first 15 shots and 5th at the end of the Prone shooting.
“It’s not the first time I do something like this in my career,” said Hui after the award ceremony. “I wasn’t actually looking at the scores along the match, but I felt that my shooting was getting better and better.”
With just four shots left, Hui was 3.0 points behind his teammate Sun Jian (25), who was making his first appearance in an ISSF event and led the match both at the end of the Kneeling series and after the 30th shot.
At that point, Hui grabbed the inertia of the match and started shooting with extreme precision: he hit the 10th ring with three of those last four shots, while at the same time Sun probably started feeling some pressure and nailed some poor scores.
Hui sealed his Gold medal with a great 10.6, finishing the match with 454.2 points, while Sun followed with 451.6 points. “I think my experience played an important role in this duel,” confessed the Gold medalist.
Switzerland’s Jan Lochbihler (24) also performed a great comeback, as he was standing in 6th place after 15 shots. Indeed, he nailed an excellent Prone series, climbing to the medal positions and battling with Hui and Sun all along the Standing shooting. Lochbihler then concluded 3rd with 440.2 points, obtaining the best placement of his career in a World Cup match.
Thailand’s Napis Tortungpanich (21) also made it into his first ISSF final match, finishing in 4th place with 429.5 points, followed by home favorite Sanjeev Rajput of India. The 36-year-old from Jagadhri, placed 5th with 420.6 points followed by Japan’s 39-year-old Yamashita Toshikazu, 22nd in this event at Rio 2016, who finished 6th with 410.2 points.
After the 40th shot, the lowest ranked shooter in the standings were Chinese Pan Junhui and Hungarian Peter Sidi, respectively 8th with 393.8 points and 7th with 400.1. —- ISSF
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