Thiruvanthapuram: Railways star Swapnil Kusale on Monday rewrote history setting a new record at the men’s 50m rifle 3position of the 61st National Shooting Championships. The 22-year-old apart from the new record also reclaimed back the gold medal he had lost in 2016.
The former Junior Asian champion, who clinched the gold medal in the same competition back in 2015, lost it in the previous season. But this year he defeated an array of stars such as Chain Singh, Satyendra Singh, Akhil Sheoran and Sanjeev Rajput to claim the gold. Gagan Narang was among those shooters who gave the event a miss.
With a score of 457.0 in the finals Swapnil not only claimed the yellow metal but also went past and erased the previous record of 456.1 set by Sanjeev in Delhi, 2013. Meanwhile, Satyendra (452.8) and Chain (439.6) bagged the silver and bronze medals respectively.
The Kolhapur boy, who just last month won a bronze in the 50m rifle prone at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane however finished fourth in the same event here.
“I’m glad that I’ve begun the season with the gold medal. I feel good with my performance and I hope to continue to extend this form throughout this season which will see Commonwealth Games, Asian Games. My immediate focus will be on the selection trials 1 & 2 in New Delhi next month,” said Swapnil after the win as quoted by the Times of India.
He was trailing far behind Satyendra and Chain in the kneeling and prone position but jumped ahead in the standing position to claim the gold. He had reached the eight men final in the fourth position with a score of 1163 in the qualification round behind the likes Akhil Sheoran (Uttar Pradesh, 1166), Chain (Army, 1164), Surendra Singh Rathod (Army, 1163). But did well from there to win his second gold in three years at the competition.