New Delhi, March 1: Indian shooter Jitu Rai clinched a Bronze medal in the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup at the Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi on Tuesday. Notably, Jitu Rai won the Bronze medal in the 10-metre Air Pistol event and finished third with a total of 216.7 points.
However, Jitu had a disastrous start in the final, starting with rounds of 9.1 and 8.8. For most of the final, he was barely keeping himself out of elimination and was dead last after six shots. After the first round of eliminations in shot 12, he was last again. He should have been out in the next round with shots of 9.7 and 9.5, but Kojiro Horimizu shot even worse - 9.3 and 8.6.
It was a pattern that would repeat itself over the remainder of the contest. Jitu did his best to lose in the next round as he shot 10.1 and 9.6, but his competitors countered those efforts with the even worse shooting. Tran Quoc Cuong, who had a lead of .8, shot 7.9 and 10.3. China's Yang Wei who was 1.8 ahead of Jitu at that point, shot 9.1 and 8.5 to fall .3 points back. Xu Jhanyi was the next to oblige. Jhanyi, who was leading after 14 shots managed an 8.9 and a 9.9.
Then, Jitu, against all expectations, shot his two highest scores of the afternoon at 10.6 each to move to third, 0.3 behind second place. Jitu's luck continued to hold good. After the first shot of the next elimination, he shot only a 9.9 but moved to silver as his opponent shot a 9.5. That though was as good as it got for Jitu. In what would be his final round, he shot an 8.6.
With a world record of 240.1 points, Tomoyuki Matsuda of Japan took the Gold, while the Silver went to Xuan Vinh Hoang of Vietnam. It was India's fourth medal of the competition and Jitu's second. He had given India its first Gold yesterday in the 10-metre Pistol Mixed team event with Heena Sidhu. In Double trap, Ankur Mittal clinched the Silver yesterday, while Pooja Ghatkar had, earlier, won a Bronze in the 10-metre Air Rifle event.