Mehuli’s class act helps her reign in women’s u-21 air rifle final
It was a fairy-tale finish for Manavaditya Rathore as he dealt with the climax in a robust fashion, clinching the men’s under-21 trap gold in the Khelo India Youth Games at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, on Saturday.
On a spectacular day of shooting when two of the brightest young girls Mehuli Ghosh and Elavenil Valarivan, who shake the world with the air rifle, put up quality fare, Manavaditya pulled the spectators outdoor to warm and windy conditions with a brilliant show.
Qualifying in the third place with 116 out of 125, the 19-year-old Manavaditya kept getting better in the climax, after a shaky start, to win the gold 38-34 ahead of Bhowneesh Mendiratta.
The intensity of the competition could be gleaned from the fact that the Asian Games silver medallist Lakshay Sheoran, who qualified on top with 120, went without a medal after leading at the half way stage in the final.
Shardul Vihan, the Asian Games silver medallist in double trap, did show his prowess in the new event for him, by bagging the bronze.
“It was overall a good competition. I got my confidence and rhythm after a bad start. When the going gets tough, you can either give up or get back to fight. After so much of training, your conscience doesn’t let you give up,” said Manavaditya.
Manavaditya credited his father Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, Olympic silver medallist and the Union Sports Minister, and mother Gayathri, for his tough competitive streak.
Manisha Keer did equally well to clinch the gold in women’s trap, but was disappointed at missing the last bird when gold was a foregone conclusion, that she smacked the blank cartridge on the ground before breaking into a bright smile.
Mehuli Ghosh, still fighting jet lag after returning from the German Bundesliga, was a class act as she won the women’s under-21 air rifle gold with phenomenal scores of 252.1 in the final and 629.4 in qualification.
Elavenil felt that she had made some errors in the end in conceding ground to her dear friend, both during qualification and the final.
As if the fireworks were not enough, Adarsh Singh, who has already made his entry into the men’s national team ahead of outstanding Olympians Gurpreet Singh and Vijay Kumar, asserted his class to bag the men’s rapid fire pistol by a mile, ahead of Ayush Sangwan and the young Harshvardhan Yadav.
Trap: Men under-21: 1. Manavaditya Rathore 39 (116); 2. Bhowneesh Mendiratta 34 (114); 3. Shardul Vihan 26 (111). Women under-21: 1. Manisha Keer 38 (117); 2. Kirti Gupta 35 (102); 3. Aadya Tripathi 25 (109).
25m rapid fire pistol: Men under-21: 1. Adarsh Singh 30 (570); 2. Ayush Sangwan 25 (576); 3. Harshvardhan Yadav 19 (568).
Air rifle: Women under-21: 1. Mehuli Ghosh 252.1 (629.4); 2. Elavenil Valarivan 248.8 (628.8); 3. Manini Kaushik 227.0 (618.9). Women under-17: 1. Heena Gohei 247.5 (622.8); 2. Jasmeen Kaur 246.3 (616.5); 3. Yana Rathore 224.1 (623.8).
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