Rio Olympics-bound shooters Heena Sidhu and Gurpreet Singh struck gold as India continued their domination in the sport at the South Asian Games (SAG) here on Monday.

Heena won the women’s 10m Air Pistol team gold along with Shweta Singh and Yashaswini Singh Deswal but had to settle for silver in the individual event where compatriot Sweta Singh claimed top honours at the Kahilpara Shooting Range.

Gurpreet, however, managed a golden double when he won the individual as well as the team gold in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event to swell India’s gold tally 25 out of the 26 gold medals dished out in the event.

The extent of domination also reflected in the fact that India has claimed a total of 45 of the 77 medals so far distributed in shooting, at the Games. India now have 25 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze medals from shooting at the SAG.

Heena, who topped qualifying 10m Air Pistol with a score of 386 points, was in the running for gold till the last shot of the eight-woman finals, however, better consistency by Sweta on the day saw her come out as the eventual winner.

Sweta who came through qualifying in the third position with a score of 373, shot 194.4 in the finals to Heena’s 192.5. The bronze in the event went to Yashaswini Singh Deswal who shot 171.3 to ensure a clean sweep of medals in the event by the host country. The trio also put up a combined score of 1133 to claim the team gold in the event ahead of Bangladesh (1103) and Sri Lanka (1093).

In the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, Olympic Silver medallist Vijay Kumar set the pace when he qualified for the finals in top position returning a score of 572. Gurpreet qualified a point behind in the second position with Pakistan’s Ghulam Mustafa Bashir also shooting well for a 567 to qualify in third place.

In the finals, however, Gurpreet shot a total of 28 to claim gold while Bashir of Pakistan pocketed the silver finishing with a score of 24. Vijay had to settle for the bronze medal with a score of 20.

Gurpreet and Vijay also teamed up with Akshay Suhas Ashtaputre to bag the team gold in the event with a combined score of 1702, some way ahead of second placed Pakistan team who had a total of 1677. Sri Lanka managed 1525 to win the team bronze.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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