New Delhi: Two-time Olympian Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Raiza Dhillon claimed gold medals in men’s and women’s skeet events respectively in the inaugural Digvijay Singh Memorial Shooting Championship (Shotgun) here on Sunday.
Mairaj, who had become the first Indian to win skeet gold at the ISSF World Cup earlier this month, shot 115 in qualification to claim sixth spot and just about made it to the semi-finals stage among the top eight shooters.
He, however, won both the semi-final and the medal match with relative ease to seal gold. He shot 27 to top his semi-final and then scored a solid 35 out of 40 in the final match, to leave Arjun Thakur of Madhya Pradesh way behind in silver position with 30 hits. Punjab’s Gurjoat Singh, who topped the qualifiers with a fine 121, settled for bronze with 24 hits at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.
In the women’s competition, Dhillon had a similar story as she qualified in the fifth spot before piping favourite Ganemat Sekhon in the medal match to emerge triumphant.
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It looked like Ganemat will go all the way after she topped the qualification round with a score of 118 and then won her semi-final with ease as well with 27 hits to second placed Dhillon’s 25. However, Dhillon made full use of the second match and shot a solid 36 targets to beat the Punjab girl by one target in the 40-shot final.
Rajasthan’s Darshna Rathore was third with 26 hits to her name.
Dhillon, in fact, had a double gold on the day, winning the Junior Women’s Skeet competition over Punjab’s Parinaaz Dhaliwal. In the junior final, she got 33 targets to Parinaaz’s 32. Darshna again settled for bronze with 24 hits.
Darshna did win a double gold on the day, with Maheshwari Chauhan and Karttiki Singh Shaktawat in the women’s team event, as well as with Yashasvi Rathore and Karttiki in the junior women’s team event. Madhya Pradesh won silver in both cases.
Madhya Pradesh, however, won two golds on the day as well, winning both the men’s and junior men’s team competitions. In the junior men’s skeet, it was all Punjab with Harmehar Singh Lally winning gold with 28 hits in the final over state-mate Bhavtej Singh Gill who shot down 24 targets. Another Punjab lad Rajveer Singh Gill won bronze.