July 7, 2022

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Al Ain 2021: Sidhartha Babu claims bronze on final day; India finish with 7 medals

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Al Ain (UAE) Sidhartha Babu claims bronze on final day; total 7 medals for India

Al Ain (UAE): Para shooter Sidhartha Babu claimed a bronze as India ended their campaign with seven medals including two gold medals at the Al Ain 2021 World Shooting World Cup that concluded here.

On the final day of competitions, Babu, who has secured a Tokyo 2020 quota for India at Sydney 2019 World Championships, settled for the bronze after being eliminated with 223.6 points in the R6 mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 which was clinched by London 2012 silver medallist Juan Antonio Saavedra Reinaldo from Spain.

Saavedra Reinaldo, in fact, denied the hosts United Arab Emirates its fourth gold pipping former Paralympic champion and local favourite Abdulla Sultan Alaryani by 0.5 points in a thrilling final. The final scores read 245.4-244.9 points. 

India with a total of seven medals (2 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze) ended in the third place behind Ukraine with 11 medals (5 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze) ahead of hosts United Arab Emirates 5 medals (3 gold and 2 silver).

India’s gold medals came in men’s pistol events with Manish Narwal (P4 mixed 50m air pistol SH2) and Singhraj (P1 men’s 10m air pistol SH1) taking the top honours. Promising Avani Lekhara had claimed the silver medal in R2 women’s 10m air rifle SH1.

Said National Chief coach J.P. Nautiyal: “Over the last three months, the team have participated in four national events including two trials so they already have had some competition experience going into Al Ain 2021. The way the players, especially Manish (Narwal) and Singhraj have performed this week at Al Ain was expected.

“Though I am little disappointed with the show by the women players in the team. They need to work hard. We will look to get two more Tokyo 2020 quotas in the next event at Lima World Cup.”

A total of 120 athletes from 24 nations competed at Al Ain 2021 which took place at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club, the same shooting range that will host the next World Championships in 2022.

This was the first World Shooting Para Sport competition in more than one year as the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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