India continue to shine brightly in Mexico as young shooter Akhil Sheoran clinched the 4th gold in the year-opening ISSF World Cup. Akhil’s triumph came in Men’s 50m Rifle 3 position when he shot 455.6 in the final to leave behind Austria’s Bernhard Pickl in second place with 452. Akhil won in such an event that included 38-time ISSF medalist and Hungarian Rifle legend Peter Sidi, Rio Olympic Bronze medalist Alexis Reynauld of France and Air Rifle Gold medalist Istvan Peni of Hungary besides India’s champion 3P exponent Sanjeev Rajput.
Earlier, in the qualification round where each shooter shoots 40-shots in each position, the experienced Rajput shot a 1176 out of a possible 1200 to qualify second behind Peni who shot 1178. Sheoran was fourth with 1174. young Swapnil Kusale, competing in his first World Cup, shot 1168 for seventh place to make it all three Indians in the eight-man final.
Sheoran’s gold indicates that India can end at the top of the medal table. He, in the process, became the third Indian shooter to have won a gold in the competition after the likes of Shahzar Rizvi and Manu Bhaker. These three, along with Mehuli Ghosh and Anjum Moudgil won thir first ISSF World Cup medal.