Ganemat Sekhon wins India’s first World Cup medal in women’s skeet


New Delhi: Young Indian shooter Ganemat Sekhon won the country’s first-ever ISSF World Cup medal in the women’s skeet event when she bagged a bronze on the third competition day of the tournament in New Delhi on Sunday. However, in the men’s skeet final, Gurjoat Khangura finished sixth with a score of 17. Khangura also qualified in sixth place for the final.

The 20-year-old Sekhon, ranked 82 in the world, shot 40 to clinch the bronze medal at the shotgun range of the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. The other Indian in the six-woman final, Karttiki Singh Shaktawat, settled for the fourth position after an impressive start, shooting 32. 

Occupying the second position for a long time, Sekhon missed three birds successively to bow out of the race, leaving Great Britain’s Amber Hill and Zoya Kravchenko of Kazakhstan to fight for the gold medal in an exciting final where nobody was willing to give an inch.

Hill held her nerves to eventually run away with the gold medal after a shoot-off with Kravchenko. It was a good learning experience for the 19-year-old Shaktawat as she looks to grow in the sport.

Ganemat was third in the qualification with 117, while Shaktawat was fourth with 116. India’s Parinaaz Dhaliwal was ninth with 108.

In 2018, Sekhon had become the first Indian female skeet shooter to win a medal at the ISSF World Championship, as she claimed the bronze medal in the junior event in Sydney, Australia.
Having started shooting on the insistence of her father Amrinder Singh Sekhon in 2015, the youngster completed her hat-trick of silver medals in the senior National Shooting Championship when she won the silver medal in the 2018 championship in Jaipur.

In the selection trials held at KSSR in January, Sekhon had topped qualifying with a score of 120, which was a huge six points ahead of second place finisher.

In the finals of that trials, the Chandigarh-based woman shot 55, which was a clear four points ahead of second-placed Zahra Deesawala. Sekhon also competed in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, where she finished 10th.

In the men’s event, Tokyo Olympics quota holders Angad Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan could not make the final.

Denmark’s Jesper Hansen (58) won the gold medal in men’s skeet ahead of UAE’s Bin Futais Saif (51) and Qatar’s multiple Dakar Rally champion Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (44).  

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Sagar Biswas

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