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Manu Bhaker Wins 2nd Gold at ISSF President’s Cup, India Finish with Five Medals

Manu Bhaker won a second gold medal at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) President’s Cup on Tuesday after Rahi Sarnobat bagged a silver medal in the women’s 25m pistol final. Tuesday was the final day of the competition in the Polish city of Wroclaw. Bhaker’s second gold, which she won partnering Turkey’s Ozgur Varlik in the 25m Rapid Fire pistol Mixed Team competition, meant that Indians won a total of five medals in the prestigious year-ending event. Manu had earlier partnered Iran’s Javad Foroughi to clinch the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team title, on day two of the competition.

The seasoned Sarnobat, who has quite the reputation as a strong finals shooter, was in her elements again on Tuesday in the women’s 25m pistol final. She shot 3s and 4s consistently to climb from fifth place initially to second after the fifth five-shot series.

She maintained that position from there on and was three points behind the gold-winning German Doreen Veenekamp, going into the 10thand final series. She managed two hits to the German’s one to end with 31- just two behind Veenekamp.

It was a classy field featuring Rio Olympic champion Anna Korakaki of Greece and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Xiao Jiaruixuan of China among others. Manu Bhaker, the second Indian in this field finished sixth with a score of 17.

But Manu was not to be denied on the day, as she came back later to partner Turkey’s Varlik and win the 25m Rapid Fire pistol Mixed Team by a margin of 9-7 over the Chinese/Estonian pair of Xiao and Peeter Olesk. The Indo-Turkish pair opened up a healthy lead of 6-2 in the early stages but Xiao and Peeter fought back to level the match at 6-6. Manu and Ozgur then went ahead 8-6 before tying the final series at 5-5 to earn the crucial ninth point and seal the deal.

Besides Manu’s two gold medals and Rahi’s silver on the final day, Saurabh Chaudhary also won an individual silver and Abhishek Verma, an individual bronze, in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol competition.

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