<
>

ISSF President's Cup: Manu Bhaker wins 10m air pistol mixed team gold

Manu Bhaker in action in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Manu Bhaker was in scintillating form on Friday as she won gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event with Iran's Javad Foroughi at the ISSF President's Cup in Wroclaw, Poland. Bhaker and Foroughi defeated France's Mathilde Lamolle and Russian Federation's Artem Chernousov 16-8 in the gold medal match.

Bhaker and Foroughi progressed to the final after topping the scoreboard in the first semifinal with a total of 31, narrowly pipping Greece's Anna Korakaki and Serbia's Damir Mikec, who finished with an identical score but eventually won broze. Lamolle and Chernousov topped the other semifinal to progress to the gold medal match.

Abhishek Verma and his Ukrainian partner Olena Kostevych shot a total of 19 and finished third in the first semifinal to miss out on a bronze medal, while Saurabh Chaudhary and Sitzerland's Heidi Diethelm Gerber finished fourth in the second semifinal with a total of 10.

This is the second successive time that Bhaker has won gold in this event at the tournament. She had won gold in the last edition too, in 2019, with Chernousov. The tournament was called the World Cup Final back then.

Bhaker, Verma and Chaudhary had progressed to the semis after finishing third, fifth and eighth espectively with their respective partners in the qualification round.

According to the qualification results, the 8 best teams went to the semifinals, the winners of which took part in the Gold medal matches. The teams that took second place in the semi-finals won the Bronze medals.

Earlier in the day, Bhaker also topped the qualification round of the women's 10m air pistol event to progress to the semifinals. Bhaker shot a score of 585. Yashaswini Singh Deswal failed to advance after shooting a total of 567 to finish 10th.

Bhaker has been in sterling form post the Olympics. She won four golds and one bronze at the Junior World Championship last month in Lima, Peru.

Chaudhary and Verma also advanced to the semis of the men's 10m air pistol event after finishing third and fourth respectively in the qualification round. Chaudhary's tally of 581 was a point better than Verma. Olympic champion Foroughi was second with a total of 584, while Germany's Christian Reitz topped with a total of 586.

The inaugural President's Cup, a rechristened version of the ISSF World Cup Finals, is an invitation-only tournament featuring the top-12 shooters in each of the shotgun, pistol and rifle categories.

The pistol and the rifle events, though, are carried out in new experimental formats beacuse of which Bhaker was paired with Foroughi.

As per the new rules, pairings are drawn at random, irrespective of nationality, in the 10m air rifle and the 10m air pistol mixed team events.