India's Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu won gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event - a new category - at the shooting World Cup Final in New Delhi on Tuesday. This is Rai's and Sidhu's second medals in a World Cup Final, the previous medals coming in individual events.
Rai-Sidhu shot a score of 483.4 in the five-team final to clinch the top spot. France's Florian Fouquet and Celine Goberville won silver with a score of 481.1. China's Yang Wei and Cai Xiaoxue finished third after scoring 418.2.
"It feels great to win here in front of our people, even if this puts a little extra-pressure on us," said Sidhu. "There were high expectations on us and a lot of eyes were looking at me and Jitu for this final, that's why we trained a lot together in the last days."
"We like this format, it's a bit longer than the other ones we tried, but we like definitely like it," said Rai, who previously won two medals during the ISSF World Cup Stage 1 that took place in New Delhi last February and March. Rai and Sidhu had won gold in the mixed team competiton back then too but it was only a demonstration event at that stage.
The mixed team event was tested for the first time this year and will be a part of the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. Sidhu had previously won gold in the 10m air pistol category at the Munich World Cup Final in 2013. Rai had won a silver in the 50m air pistol event at the World Cup Final held in Bologna last year.
Rai-Sidhu qualified for the final in first place after shooting a score of 767 in the qualification round. They were followed by the French (766) and Chinese (764) in the qualification round as well.
The Indian pair of Deepak Kumar and Meghana Sajjanar finished fourth in the 10m air rifle mixed team event after scoring 387.4 in the final. They had qualified for the final after finishing fourth in the qualification round. China won Gold and bronze while Serbia won the silver medal in the same event.
The World Cup Final features the following shooters:
* The defending Olympic, World and ISSF World Cup Final champions.
* The silver and bronze medalists of the last World Championships.
*The eight shooters that have made the best performances at the four World Cup competitions during the year. For rating the performances, a special score system is used, which takes into account both the rank as well as the score achieved. The host country can nominate a maximum of two shooters to compete in two of the World Cup Final events if no one from the host country qualifies.