Vitalina Batsarashkina wins 25m pistol gold as Manu, Rahi challenge ends in qualification

Tokyo : Russian shooter Vitalina Batsarashkina defeated Kim Min-jung of South Korea in a shoot-off to win the women’s 25m pistol gold at the Asaka Shooting Range here on Friday, even as India’s Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat got eliminated in qualification, finishing 15th and 32nd respectively.Both Vitalina and Kim had 38 hits in the final, but Kim made only one shot in the decisive shoot-off set, while Vitalina hit four for the gold.”[I’m] excited and very happy to have won a gold medal. I’m looking forward to going back home pretty soon. Since mid-June I haven’t been at home, so I’m looking forward to getting home at last,” said Vitalina.This is the third medal and second gold for the 24-year-old Vitalina, who triumphed in 10m air pistol and bagged silver in the mixed team event earlier this week. She thus became the first female shooter to claim more than two medals at the same Olympic Games.China’s Xiao Jiaruixuan survived the shootoff round twice to take a bronze. At the age of 19 years and 56 days, she became the youngest Olympic medallist in women’s 25m pistol.

Defending champion Anna Korakaki of Greece finished sixth.Earlier, India’s Manu Bhaker and experienced Rahi Sarnobat bowed out of the event on Friday after finishing 15th and 32nd respectively following two days of qualification.This was the Indian pistol shooters’ final event at Tokyo 2020. India’s gold drought in shooting, which started at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has continued in Tokyo so far and only a few events are left for the country’s shooters to salvage their pride.Only the top-eight from the qualifying round made it to the eight-shooter finals.Before taking aim at the Akasa Shooting Range on Friday, Manu was placed fifth in the overall standings with a score of 292/300 in Thursday’s precision round. Rahi, on the other hand, started from her overnight position of 25th with 287 points.Manu fired 96, 97 and 97 in her three rapid-fire series and accumulated 290/300. With a total score of 582/600, she missed the final qualification mark by just two points.Rahi, on the other hand, scored 286 in the rapid-fire round to finish with a cumulative score of 573 in the qualifying round.Bulgaria’s Antoaneta Kostadinova, the silver medallist in women’s 10m air pistol, topped the qualifying with 590 points, followed by China’s Xiao Jiaruixuan and ROC’s Vitalina Batsarashkina.South Korea’s Minjung Kim was the eighth shooter to make the final cut.Manu and Rahi’s exit has ended the Indian pistol shooters’ campaign at the Olympics. Any medal hopes for India in shooting now rests on the men’s and women’s 50m rifle 3 positions shooters.



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