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- Jitu Rai wins gold in men
Jitu Rai wins gold in men’s 10m air pistol; bronze for Mitharval
Jitu Rai won gold in men’s 10m air pistol event setting a new Commonwealth Games record while compatriot Om Mitharval won silver at the Belmont Shooting Centre on day five of the Gold Coast CWG.
Rai, a CWG gold medalist in 50m air pistol event four years ago in Glasgow, shot a total of 235.1 after qualifying for the final in the fifth position.
Mitharval, who qualified for the final equaling the CWG qualification record, shot a total of 214.3. Australia’s Kerry Bell won silver (233.5).
With these two medals, India’s tally goes up to 15 with the shooter delivering five medals. Weightlifters have accounted for nine medals.
Rai is a 2014 Asian Games gold medalist as well as two-time ISSF World Cup medalist. In 2014, at the age of 26, the Nepal-born Jitu competed in his first CWG and clinched gold on debut in the men’s 50m pistol event. He started by creating a CWG record in the qualification round of the 50m pistol event with 562 points and went on to win gold, scoring 194.1 points in the final, which was another record.
That was Jitu’s best year as an international shooter. Along with that CWG gold, he won a silver medal in the 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich, then became the first Indian shooter to win two medals at a single world cup in Maribor – a gold in the 10m air pistol and a silver in the 50m pistol – and later won the 50m pistol gold medal and bronze in the men’s 10m air pistol team event at the Asian Games.
In August 2015 he was conferred with the Arjuna award. In 2016, shrugging off the disappointment of the Rio Olympics, Jitu clinched a silver medal in the 50m pistol event of the 2016 ISSF World Cup Final after which the ISSF awarded him the ‘Champion of Champions’ title.
In 2017, Jitu won four gold medals and a bronze at ISSF events and two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships. Individually, he won 50m and 10m bronze at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in Brisbane, the 50m gold at the 61st National Shooting Championship with a new national record score of 233 and a 10m air pistol bronze at the 10th Asian Championship.
Paired with Heena Sidhu, he won the 10m mixed team air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Delhi in February and next shot a world record total of 230.1 to claim gold in the men’s 50m pistol event at the same event. In the 10m pistol bronze at the same competition, Jitu finished with bronze. At the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol series in Gabala, with Heena he claimed gold in the mixed team 10m air pistol event. At the ISSF World Cup final in Delhi, Jitu and Heena won the 10m air pistol mixed team gold, finishing with 483.4 points to beat France with 481.1.