New Delhi [India], March 22 (ANI): Reigning national champion, Elavenil Valarivan won the junior women's 10m air rifle gold at the ongoing International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun in Sydney, Australia, as India won two gold medals and one bronze to kick-off their campaign on a strong note.
The teenager from Gujarat, who burst onto the scene at the national shooting trials last year with a world record score and then went on to win the senior nationals on debut in the event, had a profitable day, also pocketing the Team Gold along with compatriots Shreya Agrawal and Zeena Khitta. Arjun Babuta in the junior men's 10m air rifle won India's third medal of the day, a Bronze.
Elavenil shot a junior world record score of 631.4 to top qualification a clear 1.7 points ahead of Chinese Taipei's Ying-Shin Lin and the writing was on the wall. All three Indians qualified for the eight-woman including Zeena who shot 623.1 and Shreya who shot 622 to finish sixth and seventh respectively.
In the final, Elvaneil led from the onset and except for a brief period when Shreya took lead with four strong scores of 10.6, 10.4, 10.5 and 10.8 from the 11th to 14th shots, Elavenil went back into the lead from the 18th shot and did not look back. Her finals score of 249.8 was again 1.1 point clear of the Chines Taipei girl who won Silver with 248.7. China won Bronze and Shreya with 164.8 eventually had to be content with sixth place. Zeena shot 164.1 to finish seventh.
In the men's 10m air rifle, India again had three finalists in Arjun Babuta, Shahu Tushar Mane and Surya Pratap Singh. Arjun qualified third with 623.9, Shahu sixth with 621.4 and Surya seventh with 621.2. Chinese 16-year old Yuqi Liu won Gold in the event with a finals score of 247.1, while Hungary's Zalan Pekler won Silver 246.0.
Arjun won his second Junior World Cup Bronze in the event after he won his first two years back in Gabala, eventually shooting 226.3 in the finals to clinch the podium. Shahu shot 161.7 to finish sixth while Surya Pratap Singh ended eighth with a scrore of 119.4 in the finals.
India's Soumya Gupta also reached the finals of the junior women's trap event with a 101 in qualification and shot 18 in the finals to eventually finish fifth in the event. China won the Gold in the event, which helped them to end the first finals day on top of the medals tally with a total of three gold and three bronze medals. India are currently standing at the second spot. (ANI)