Indian rifle shooter Nischal clinched a silver medal in the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions (3P) at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol stage in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. This achievement is all the more impressive as it marked her very first senior World Cup final appearance.
Nischal finished just behind Norwegian Rifle ace Jeanette Hegg Duestad, who boasts an impressive resume as the reigning Air Rifle European Champion and 300m 3P World Champion, holding a total of 12 ISSF World Cup medals, including five gold. Duestad’s remarkable career also includes a fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics in Air Rifle.
Throughout the day, Nischal displayed unwavering focus, setting the bar high by breaking the qualification national record in Women’s 3P. She shot a solid 587 in the first relay during qualifications, securing her spot in the final alongside her fellow countrywomen, Anjum Moudgil and Ayushi Podder.
Nischal’s exceptional performance continued in the qualification round, where she shot a sublime 592, including a perfect 200 in the prone position, surpassing Anjum’s score from the previous year. Despite Anjum’s commendable performance, she finished 10th, missing the final by just one point, while Ayushi placed 35th with a score of 580.
The final featured a stellar field, with top-notch shooters like Duestad, world champion Wanru Miao of China, and others. Nischal maintained her focus and competitiveness from the beginning, staying neck-and-neck with Duestad after the first 30 shots. As the final progressed, Duestad managed to extend her lead, but Nischal’s consistent performance secured her the silver medal.
Nischal’s journey to the silver medal was indeed a remarkable debut in the senior World Cup final. After the competition, she expressed her happiness, saying, “It is my first World Cup final, and I have a medal, so I am very happy for that.”
The final standings for the Indian contingent were impressive, considering their limited participation in the event. Elavenil Valarivan had earlier won the Women’s 10m Air Rifle gold in a spectacular fashion.
With Nischal’s silver medal and other commendable performances, the 16-member Indian contingent returned from the Rio World Cup with one gold and one silver, securing a respectable seventh position in the overall standings.
The ISSF World Cup in Rio showcased the extraordinary talent and determination of Indian shooters on the global stage. Nischal’s exceptional debut performance will undoubtedly inspire a new generation of aspiring shooters in India, further strengthening the country’s presence in international shooting sports.
Nischal’s silver medal in her debut senior World Cup final is a testament to her skill, dedication, and determination, marking a significant moment in Indian shooting sports history. Her success, along with other notable performances, reinforces India’s position as a rising force in international shooting competitions.