Hriday tops men’s air rifle, betters work mark

The reigning World junior champion Hriday Hazarika shot 253.2, a total better than the world record, to clinch the top spot in men’s air rifle in the National shooting selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range on Saturday.

After qualifying in seventh place with 628.4, the 19-year-old Hriday outclassed the field, as he beat the 3-position quota winner Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar by 1.7 points. The world record is held by Yu Haonan of China (252.8).

Qualification topper Arjun Babuta finished third, ahead of Olympian Sanjeev Rajput.

Olympic quota winners in air rifle, Deepak Kumar (625.6) and world No.1 Divyansh Singh Panwar (625.3) were not at their best and placed 13th and 17th respectively.

In women’s air rifle, reigning world No.1 Elavenil Valarivan shot 251.7 and won with a two-point margin over Olympian Ayonika Paul. Shriyanka Sadangi placed third while qualification topper Nisha Kanwar (631.8) finished sixth.

Olympic quota winners in the event, Apurvi Chandela (625.9) and Anjum Moudgil (623.1) were below par and placed ninth and 19th respectively.

Apurvi missed the final by 0.3 point. A bunch of other quality shooters like Meghana Sajjanar, Ayushi Podder, Mehuli Ghosh and Vinita Bhardwaj also missed the final.

In the second set of skeet trials, Ayush Rudraraju and Bhavtegh Singh Gill led the men’s field with 73. It was Zahra Deesawala leading with 71 out of 75 in the women’s section, two points ahead of Darshna Rathore and Parinaaz Dhaliwal.

The results: 10m air rifle: Men: 1. Hriday Hazarika 253.2 (628.4); 2. Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar 251.5 (629.4); 3. Arjun Babuta 230.0 (629.6).

Women: 1. Elavenil Valarivan 251.7 (628.3); 2. Ayonika Paul 249.7 (626.2); 3. Shriyanka Sadangi 228.9 (629.1).

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