ISSF Junior World Cup: Indian Shooters win big in Air Rifle events

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Four sets of medals were awarded today at the Schießsportzentrum in Suhl (GER), where the second ISSF Junior World Cup of the season is currently underway.

10m Air Rifle Women Junior

In the opening event of the day, India’s 18-year-old shooter Elavenil Valarivan triumphed at the end of a tight duel with People’s Republic of China’s 18-year-old Wang Zeru, securing her second consecutive Junior World Cup gold medal.

All along the match, the two youngsters battled neck and neck at the top of the table, with Valarivan building the definitive gap only in the final two series, where she nailed a great 10.7-10.8 combo. The Indian shooter, gold medalist also at this year’s ISSF Junior World Cup 1 in Sydney (AUS), eventually finished with 251.7 points.

Wang, instead, signed off with 250.9, taking silver and adding it to the Air Rifle bronze she won in Sydney.

The podium was then completed by Chinese Taipei’s Lin Ying-Shin — current number 2 of the World Ranking in this event after winning gold at the ISSF World Cup Stage 4 in Munich (GER). The 19-year-old shooter took bronze with 229.5 points, securing her fourth international medal of the 2018 season: along with the two aforementioned gold medals, indeed, Lin claimed silver both in Sydney and at the second ISSF World Cup stage of the season in Changwon (KOR).

On the team podium, People’s Republic of China and Singapore placed 1st and 2nd, respectively, both scoring 1879.9 points and both setting a new Junior World Record. In 3rd position, India completed the podium with the score of 1871.0 points.

Trap Women Junior

The Italian National Team dominated the Trap Women Junior final, pocketing gold with Gaia Ragazzini and completing the sweep with Sofia Littamè and Giulia Grassia, who respectively took silver and bronze.

In a match characterized by a high number of mistakes, in fact, Ragazzini were the most consistent shooter, as she crushed 22 of her first 25 clays and led the pack since the very beginning of the match.

Competing in the first international final match of her young career, the 17-year-old managed the gap that she progressively built and sealed the gold medal with 39 hits out of 50 targets. On the second step of the podium — participating in her first international competition ever — Sofia Littamè took silver at the end of a fantastic comeback: despite missing five of her first 10 targets, in fact, the 16-year-old Italian shooter climbed up position after position, finishing in 2nd place with 35 hits.

After entering the final with the highest qualification score, 20-year-old Giulia Grassia crushed 27 of her 40 clays, doubling the bronze she won at last year’s Junior World Cup in Porpetto (ITA), where Italy also swept the podium with Grassia, Erica Sessa and Maria Lucia Palmitessa.

On the team podium, Great Britain took gold and set a new Junior World Record with a total of 322 hits, while two Italian teams secured silver with 310 and bronze with 307.

Trap Men Junior

Spain’s 19-year-old athlete Adria Martinez Torres secured the brightest medal in the Trap Men Junior event, prevailing over Chinese Taipei’s 19-year-old Yang Kun-Pi at the end of an extremely balanced battle.

After they both closed the first half of the match with 21 hits, Yang missed three of his following 15 clays, losing contact with his Spanish rival and entering the 10 final targets with a 2-hit disadvantage: there, Martinez Torres only missed once, finishing with 44 hits out of 50 and taking gold. It’s the second of his career, as he also placed 1st at last year’s Junior World Cup in Porpetto (ITA).

Yang, instead, concluded his match with 43 hits, putting the silver medal around his neck and finally climbing on the ISSF podium after many unsuccessful participations in various ISSF championships.

The podium was completed by Italy’s 20-year-old Teo Petroni — junior silver medalist at last year’s European Championship in Baku (AZE). In Suhl, Petroni obtained the best placement of his career in an ISSF Junior World Cup, finishing in 3rd position with 31 crushed targets out of 40.

The team gold medal was awarded to Italy 2 with 345 total hits, while Italy 1 followed in 2nd place and secured silver with 340. The bronze medal was awarded to the Czech Republic, who recorded the combined score of 326 hits.

10m Air Rifle Men Junior

In the fourth and conclusive match of the day, India’s 16-year-old Hriday Hazarika won gold in the 10m Air Rifle Men Junior event, adding his success to the one signed a few hours earlier by his teammate Elavenil Valarivan.

Making his first appearance in a Junior World Cup, Hazarika entered the final with the highest qualification score, then climbing atop the podium at the end of a match where he fired 21 of his 24 shots inside the 10th ring, and eventually taking gold with 248.7 points. Only 0.3 points behind him, Germany’s Maximilian Ulbrich (17) nailed his first participation in an ISSF competition and placed 2nd with 248.4 points.

People’s Republic of China’s 18-year-old Fu Gangfeng pocketed the bronze medal with 226.9 points, besting the 7th place he signed at this year’s Junior World Cup in Sydney (AUS).

Hazarika also led India to the top of the team podium, where they took gold with 1875.3 points and signed a new Junior World Record. The Russian Federation 1 and the People’s Republic of China completed the podium, respectively taking silver with 1873.4 points and bronze with 1870.8.

The ISSF Junior World Cup 2 in Suhl (GER) will continue with four more finals: the 25m Pistol Women Junior, scheduled at 1:00 pm (UTC+2:00), the 10m Air Pistol Men Junior, scheduled at 2:00 pm, the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Women Junior, taking place at 3:00 pm, and the Trap Mixed Team Junior, sealing the day at 6:00 pm.

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