Indian pistol ace Yashaswini Deswal reigned supreme in the fourth edition of the International Online Shooting Championship on Saturday as the Tokyo Olympics quota winner topped the 10m Air Pistol event yet again.
Though the 23-year-old shooter couldn’t match up to her last edition’s gold-medal-winning score of 243.8, the ISSF Rio de Janeiro World Cup gold medallist’s score of 243.6 was enough to see her finish first.
The podium finishes of the 10m Air Pistol competition remained an all-Indian affair once more as Ashish Dabas and Anish Bhanwala took the second and third spots respectively.
While Ashish Dabas scored a close 243.1 to that of Yashaswini Deswal, 2018 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Anish Bhanwala finished third with a score of 222.3.
“An online shooting championship will definitely help the Olympic-bound elite shooters,” Indian pistol superstar Manu Bhaker, who had participated twice in the competition, had told the Times of India earlier.
“It will give us competition and valuable practice,” reasoned the 18-year-old, who had claimed bronze the last time she participated in the tournament.
Martin Strempfl takes the day
The highlight of the day, however, was Austrian shooter Martin Strempfl’s performance in the 10m Air Rifle competition.
A quota winner at the Tokyo Games, Martin Strempfl qualified for the final round with a score of 633.7 to surpass the qualification world record score by 0.2 points.
If that wasn’t enough, the 35-year-old marksman then went on to shoot a score of 253.8, which outdid the World Record by one point, in the final round as he won the gold medal in the online rifle competition.
Martin Strempfl was followed by India’s Rudrankksh Patil and Visnu Shivaraj Pandian in the second and third positions respectively.
Maharashtra’s Rudrankksh Patil had won the rifle event last time with a world record-breaking score of 252.9. This time, however, the Indian shooter managed 251.7 and bagged a silver medal while Visnu Shivaraj Pandian scored 226.5 to settle for a virtual bronze.
With shooters from across 11 countries competing in the fourth edition of the International Online Shooting Championship, Shimon Sharif’s brainchild has been a success amid the pandemic.
"I am happy to see that our concept of online shooting is now moving beyond lockdown as we saw some shooters in the fourth edition shooting from their local ranges," Simon Sharif told the Olympic Channel.
“Earlier, only the ones who had a home range setup had the privilege to participate but now shooters who have access to the local ranges can also participate.
"With every competition, we are getting better and better in terms of managing it and soon we are going to introduce prize money for it," he added
Starting with 25 elite shooters in the very first edition, the competition has grown over two months with the global field now boasting of up to 100 shooters.
10m Air Rifle: 1. Martin Strempfl (Austria) 253.8 (633.7); 2. Rudrankksh Patil (India) 251.7; 3. Visnu Shivaraj Pandian (India) 226.5.
10m Air Pistol: 1. Yashaswini Deswal (India) 243.6 (576); 2. Ashish Dabas (India) 243.1 (577); 3. Anish Bhanwala (India) 222.3 (578).