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Apurvi Chandela Shoots Down ISSF WC Gold With World Record Score

The 26-year-old shoots a total of 252.9 to clear the existing world-record in the event by 0.5 points at New Delhi.

Updated
Olympic Sports
3 min read
Apurvi Chandela clinched the women’s 10m Air Rifle gold at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.
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Snapshot
  • Apurvi Chandela wins the Women’s 10m Air Rifle gold at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.
  • 26-year-old shoots a world-record score of 252.9 to finish ahead of China’s Ruozhu Zhao and Hong Xu.
  • Chandela becomes only the fourth Indian woman to win an ISSF World Cup gold medal.
  • Chandela had earlier bagged a 2020 Olympics quota for India in this event at the 2018 World Championships.

It may have been a controversial build-up to the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi for India, but the action on the range got off to the perfect start as Apurvi Chandela roared to the gold medal in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle event with a world-record score on Saturday, 23 February.

The 26-year-old – the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion in the category – delivered the perfect start to the host nation on the opening day of competitive action at the World Cup, storming to the title more than a point ahead of her nearest competitor, China’s Ruozhu Zhao.

Chandela finished with a total score of 252.9, clearing the existing world record in the event, previously held by silver-medallist Zhao, by 0.5 points.

The victory sees her become India’s first World Cup gold-medallist in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle since Anjali Bhagwat in 2003, and only the fourth Indian woman to win a World Cup title.

Apurvi Chandela is India’s first World Cup gold-medallist in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle since Anjali Bhagwat in 2003.
Apurvi Chandela is India’s first World Cup gold-medallist in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle since Anjali Bhagwat in 2003.
(Photo: PTI)
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On-Field Cheer After Off-Field Jeer

The lead-up to the year’s first World Cup had been an embarrassing one for India. The decision to not issue visas to Pakistani athletes in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack had led to global condemnation – and a crackdown from the International Olympic Committee.

But on the first day of competition, Chandela turned the air of controversy into one of cheer.

Chandela entered the elimination stage of the final on Saturday, 23 February, trailing the Chinese trio of Zhao, Hong Xu and Yingjie Zhu, but sailed above all three by keeping her best for the closing rounds.

The Arjuna Award winner didn’t shoot below 10.5 (out of a maximum possible 10.9) in any of her last 10 shots in the eight-woman final, which saw her finish a distant 1.1 points ahead of second place.

Having taken top position with her 17th shot in the 24-shot summit clash, Chandela didn’t once relinquish her lead and stayed ahead of the chasing pack.

She entered the final sequence of two shots already 0.8 ahead of Zhao – the previous world-record holder in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle – and stretched it further by shooting a 10.8 and a 10.5 to the Chinese shooter’s 10.5 and 10.5.

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No Extra Quota, but a Rare High

The ongoing World Cup is also an Olympic qualifier, with 14 quota places up for grabs. The top two finishers in seven of the events at the New Delhi World Cup can secure a quota for their countries at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But Chandela, having already clinched a quota spot for India at the 2018 World Championships in Changwon, doesn’t get an additional place as ISSF rules only allow one quota place per shooter.

India do already possess two quotas for the Women’s 10m Air Rifle – Anjum Moudgil had also secured a quota with a silver medal at the same World Championships in Changwon.

Chandela does, however, enter an elite bracket in Indian shooting. She is only the 10th Indian to win an individual gold medal at the ISSF World Cup.

India’s Individual Gold Medals at the ISSF WC

  • Anjali Bhagwat: Women’s 10m Air Rifle, Fort Benning 2003
  • Gagan Narang: Men’s 10m Air Rifle, Guangzhou 2006
  • Gagan Narang: Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions, Changwon 2009
  • Manavjit Singh Sandhu: Men’s Trap, Acapulco 2010
  • Sanjeev Rajput: Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions, Changwon 2011
  • Rahi Sarnobat: Women’s 25m Pistol, Changwon 2013
  • Jitu Rai: Men’s 10m Air Pistol, Maribor 2014
  • Manavjit Singh Sandhu: Men’s Trap, Tucson 2014
  • Manu Bhaker: Women’s 10m Air Pistol, Guadalajara 2018
  • Shahzar Rizvi: Men’s 10m Air Pistol, Guadalajara 2018
  • Akhil Sheoran: Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions, Guadalajara 2018
  • Apurvi Chandela: Women’s 10m Air Rifle, New Delhi 2019

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