New Delhi [India], December 9 (ANI): Mehuli Ghosh and Tushar Mane on Saturday became the first Indian shooters to secure women's and men's quota places for 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) after clinching pole positions on day two of the ongoing 10th Asian Championship 10M Rifle/Pistol, being held in Wako City, Japan.
Mehuli struck Gold in the women's 10m Air Rifle Youth to bag one out of three quota places up for grabs while Tushar Mane settled for Bronze in the men's event to secure one out of four quota places available as medals continued to pour in for the 37-member Indian contingent.
India had already won three Gold and three Bronze medals on the day to add to their five medals won on day one of competitions.
It could not have been a better start for India, as Samiksha Dhingra in the Junior Women's 10m Air Rifle, outgunned her Chinese rival in the final, shooting a score of 249.6 at the end of the allotted 24-shots to pip silver winner Yu Zhang by 0.1 point. Singapore's Martina Lindsay Veloso won Bronze with 227.2 while Shreya Saksena of India finished eighth with 121.3. Samiksha and Shreya also teamed up with Manini Kaushik to win the Team Bronze with a combined score of 1238.1, behind Iran who won Silver with 1243 and China who won Gold with 1246.6.
Then came the first YOG 2018 quota win for India, through Tushar Mane in the 10m Air Rifle Men Youth event, when he finished the eight-man final with a score of 228.2 to clinch Bronze and one of the four available quotas. China's Changhong Zhang won the event with a final score of 250.0 while Bangladesh's Arnab Sharar won Silver with 249.5.
Apart from these three, Yuqi Lu of China, finished fourth to bag the last available quota. India's Hriday Hazarika had also qualified for the final and finished eighth with 121.1. Tushar, Hriday and Mohit Agnihotri though, teamed up to win the Team Gold in the event with a combined score of 1863.1. China won Silver while Korea won Bronze.
India's second YOG quota was won in even more convincing fashion by Mehuli Ghosh in the Women's 10m Air Rifle Youth, when she not only topped her qualifying round with a score of 420.6, but also led from the start in the final and except for a brief while in the initial stages, kept shooting consistently to stay ahead of the pack till the very end. She shot 250.5 in the final to edge out a fast finishing Mingwei Gao of China by 0.1 point in the final analysis.
China also won the third YOG quota place available in the event as Yingjie Zhu won Bronze with a finals score of 228.1. Mehuli also combined with Rakshna Chakkaravarthy and Sreya Agrawal to win the Team Bronze with a total of 1240.5. China won Gold with 1253.1 and Korea won Silver with a team total of 1241.2.(ANI)