New Delhi, March 5: India jumped to the top of the pecking order as young Manu Bhaker clinched a gold medal while Ravi Kumar bagged a bronze in the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Bhaker beat the host country's Alejandra Zavala, a two-time World Cup Finals winner, with a 10.8 in the last shot of the 24 shot final, to come out on top with a score of 237.5. Zavala ended at 237.1 while Celine Goberville of France won the bronze with a score of 217.0.
Indias Yashaswini Singh Deswal missed out on a medal, finishing fourth with 196.1. An 11th standard student, Bhaker, who recently secured a quota place for the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, won a sensational gold to continue India's surge in the season's first World Cup.
Earlier, Ravi Kumar won his first World Cup medal- a bronze in the Mens 10M Air Rifle event. Ravi had made it to three finals last year, including in the World Cup Finals, without winning a medal.
He shot 226.4 and had to beat compatriot Deepak Kumar in a shoot-off for third and fourth spots in the final. Talented young Hungarian Istvan Peni, the world number one, won the Gold, shooting 249.5 while Austrias Alexander Schmirl won Silver with 248.7.
This was Indias fourth medal of the competition with Shahzar Rizvi and Jitu Rai winning gold and bronze in the Mens 10M Air Pistol and Mehuli Ghosh winning bronze in the Womens 10M Air Rifle respectively, on day one of competitions.
Reacting after winning the medal, Manu Bhaker said, "I am extremely happy at winning Gold, especially as this is my first World Cup. I look forward to perform even better in upcoming competitions."
Commenting on India's start to the new season, National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh said, This is a dream start. The young guns and future of Indian shooting are firing on all cylinders and let us only hope that these are signs of even better things to come in the near future.
"Manu showed excellent composure for one so young and Ravis consistency over the past year or so has also been heartening to watch. We are now hungry for more." At the end of competition day two, India's medal count stood at five with two gold and three bronze.