Samaresh Jung finished ahead of defending champion Mahavir Singh in the standard pistol event. Photo: Sandeep Saxena
Samaresh Jung won the standard pistol gold ahead of defending champion Mahavir Singh in the 57th National shooting championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Saturday.
In fact, Samaresh had assured himself of the gold on Friday itself when he shot 576 out of 600. He had 194 in the 150-second series, 193 in 20-second series and 189 in the 10-second series.
“I love shooting standard pistol,” said Samaresh quite thrilled to win a second medal in the ongoing Nationals.
“In the last three Nationals I had not done well. Maybe, I won only two medals in all in the last three years. It is great to win two medals this time,” said the 43-year-old Samaresh.
“It is a good score. I like standard pistol because it is a fast event. It is not that fast as rapid fire pistol. At this stage, I may not be able to start rapid fire,” said Samaresh, who had actually taken up standard pistol so that he could get more ammunition to train in free pistol.
“Rapid fire is a lot of work, and requires a lot of ammunition,” said Samaresh, who also was the ‘Champion of Champions’ in a mixed pistol event in the ongoing championship.
Vijay Kumar got the bronze, 10 points behind Samaresh.
Jaspal Rana, who finished fourth in rapid fire pistol, and has a National record 585 in standard pistol, could manage only 561 and was seventh, ahead of Gurpreet Singh (559) and Ronak Pandit (558).
Among the juniors, Sunil Gurung too pushed defending champion Ajitesh Kaushal to the second spot by two points with a score of 554.
It was a light day, and rigorous pre-event training for a lot of shooters, before the climax set to feature two of the brightest stars in Indian shooting, Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang, in air rifle over the last three days.
In fact, it will be hectic for Gagan who won the rifle prone bronze, as he will also be competing in the free rifle 3-position event as well.
Asian Games gold medallist Ronjan Sodhi will also compete in the two-day double trap event, to win that elusive National gold.
The results: Men: Standard pistol: 1. Samaresh Jung 576; 2. Mahavir Singh 569; 3. Vijay Kumar 566.
Juniors: 1. Sunil Gurung 554; 2. Ajitesh Kaushal 552; 3. Neeraj Kumar 547.