Baku: London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang reached his second World Cup final in four days after finishing seventh in the men’s 50 metres Rifle Prone event at the final Shooting World Cup (Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun) here on Sunday.
Gagan’s score of 621.1 in the qualifying round, which enabled him to become the seventh placed shooter out of eight to make it to the final, was below his best, but enough to get him another World Cup final match-up before Rio. The highest score registered in qualifying was 624.7.
Gagan started the final on a positive note, shooting into the second place after the first series of three shots. He was in fourth place till the eighth shot but a 9.9 in his ninth meant despite a 10.4 in the 10th, Gagan had to bow out in seventh position.
The gold in the event went to Denmark’s Torben Grimmel, who picked up his third World Cup gold of the year in the event. Kenneth Parr of Germany won the silver and Petar Gorsa of Croatia won the bronze medal.
This is Gagan’s fifth final event in the last two years and he has collected one medal from it, a bronze which he won in Fort Benning last year.
He had also reached the finals of the event in the Granada World Championships in 2014. On Thursday, Gagan also reached the final of the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event and ended sixth — an event in which he had won the Olympic bronze.
These are ominous signs from one of India’s most decorated shooters, coming as it is just 40 days before the Rio Olympics.
Sanjeev Rajput, the second Indian in the Men’s 50m Prone, finished 14th with an overall qualifying score of 617.6.
In the day’s other medal event, India’s Gurpreet Singh shot a score of 569 in the qualifying round of the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol to end in 26th spot.
Indian shooters have reached six finals in the Baku World Cup so far, with Jitu Rai giving India its only medal so far in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol on Saturday.
Two more competition days are left in the tournament with four sets of medals yet to be decided in them.