It was a golden start for the Indian contingent as ace pistol shooter Heena Sidhu and Jitu Rai combined well to win first gold medal of the ISSF World Cup final that got under way here at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges on Tuesday.
In the five teams final, the Indian pair of Heena Sidhu and Jitu Rai shot 483.4 to win title in the 10m air pistol mixed team event. The silver went to France (481.1) and China took bronze (418.2).
After the first series of five shots, the Indian pair was trailing at third spot with France leading the field followed by China. The position remained the same after the second series, but Heena and Rai worked their way up in the third series , taking second position behind France.
Thereafter, it was battle between hosts India and France. When the race for title began, India had an edge over France. Indian team score was 424.4 while France score was 421.6.
In the last six shots, which decided the winner, Heena and Rai remained focused to win first gold of the day.
Earlier in the qualification, favourites Heena and Rai had a nervous start and took time to settle down in the 40 shots match.
Heena Sidhu started with a series of 94/100, followed by a series of 96, 95 and shot 97 in the fourth and last series for a total of 382. Rai too managed to stay calm under pressure and had a series of 97, 96, 95 and 97 for a total of 385.
Rai started the last series of 10 shots when he had just ten minutes left to complete the match. However, he didn’t wilt under pressure and scored five ten shots in a row to take his score to 97.