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ISSF Shooting World Cup: Arjun Babuta stuns Olympic medallist Lucas Kozeniesky to bag 10m air rifle gold

After scoring 630.5 in the 60-shot qualification stage to finish second in the 53-strong field, Arjun humbled USA's Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Kozeniesky 17-9 in a rather one-sided contest.

Ritesh Pathak Author

Updated - 11 July 2022 6:41 pm

Indian athletes are getting better with every passing day and the tricolor is flying high in sports other than cricket as well. The latest athlete to make India proud is shooter Arjun Babuta. The 23-year-old shooter from Punjab bagged a gold medal in the 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Cup. To make the win even special for himself, Arjun stunned Olympic Medalist Lucas Kozeniesky to win the yellow metal.

After scoring 630.5 in the 60-shot qualification stage to finish second in the 53-strong field, Arjun humbled USA’s Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Kozeniesky 17-9 in a rather one-sided contest. This was Arjun’s maiden gold medal for the senior team. He had bagged the yellow metal at the 2016 Junior World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan.

The 23-year-old from Punjab, who has been representing India since 2016, had earlier topped the ranking round with a scintillating 261.1 points to qualify for the gold medal clash. Kozeniesky shot 260.4 to join him even as qualification leader Sergey Richter of Israel settled for bronze with a score of 259.9.

For his outstanding performance, Arjun received some high praises. The official Indian account for the Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Olympic Khel shared special message for the Indian shooter. “??? ???? ?? ?? ?????…?Beating Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Lucas Kozeniesky of ?? in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle gold medal match, Arjun Babuta clinched ??’s first medal at ISSF World Cup 2022,” they tweeted.

Parth Makhija finishes fourth

While Arjun impressed with a gold medal, India’s other contender Parth Makhija could manage to finish in fourth place. Makhija, who had finished fifth with 628.4 in the qualification stage, finished fourth with a score of 258.1.

Meanwhile, India’s women’s team’s campaign ended on Sunday as none of the Indian shooters made the cut in the women’s 10m air rifle. It was the 21-year-old Mehuli Ghosh who came closest with a score of 628.7 to finish 11th in the field. She lost out on a qualifying spot by just 0.1 point. Senior debutant Ramita shot 627.4 to finish 17th, while former world number one and Olympian Elavenil Valarivan finished 24th with a score 626.3.

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