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ISSF Shooting World Cup: Mairaj Khan gives India its first gold, hits a perfect target at the age of 46


India’s veteran shooter and Olympic medalist Mairaj Ahmed Khan has created history by winning gold in the ISSF World Cup. He won India its first gold medal in men’s skeet event. Mairaj, 46, from Uttar Pradesh scored 37 in the 40-shot final to beat Korea’s Minsu Kim (36) and Britain’s Ben Llewellyn (26) on Monday. Mairaj had earlier scored 119 out of 125 on the first two days of qualifying. He won the gold by registering a victory in the shoot-off of five shooters.

Mairaj, a two-time Olympian and the oldest member of the Indian contingent this time in Changwon, won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro World Cup. After scoring 119 in qualifying, he was in the running for the last two qualification places along with four others including two-time Olympic medalist Abdullah Al Rashidi of Kuwait. In the ranking round, Mairaj faced Germany’s Sven Korte, Korea’s Minky Cho and Cyprus’s Nicolas Wasileu. He topped with 27 hits.

In other results, Vijayveer Sidhu made it to the ranking round but could not make it to the medal round. Anish and Sameer failed to clear the first hurdle in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event. Vijayveer finished sixth, Anish 12th, Sameer 30th while in women’s skeet, Mufaddal Deesawala finished 23rd.

Earlier, Anjum Mudgil, Aashi Choksi and Sift Kaur Samra won the bronze medal in the women’s 50m rifle three positions team event. In the bronze medal match, she defeated Austria’s Shailene Wiebel, Ann Ungerrank and Rebecca Koeck 16-6. India still topped the medal tally with 13 medals (five gold, five silver and three bronze).

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