Baku (Azerbaijan) | India's Divya TS and Sarabjot Singh emerged third-time lucky as a pair, winning gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event of the ISSF World Cup here on Thursday.
Shooting on competition day two, the Indian pair who had finished fifth in two earlier World Cup stages in Cairo and Bhopal respectively, broke through with a fine 581 to top the 55-team qualification, assuring them of a medal and a spot in the gold medal match.
Up against Serbian legends Damir Mikec and Zorana Arunovic in the most important match, the Indians held their own to pull off a nerve-wracking 16-14 win and finish top of the podium.
It was a second ISSF World Cup gold for Sarabjot in back-to-back tournaments, having won the individual air pistol in Bhopal in March, while for Divya it was a first senior medal at this level. Ismail Keles and Simal Yilmaz of Turkey won bronze.
In qualification, Divya and Sarabjot were detailed in the second relay after India's second pair Esha Singh and Varun Tomar had shot a combined 578 in the first, placing them third provisionally.
After Divya and Sarabjot's relay however, they finished fifth overall, missing out on a shot at bronze by a point. Three pairs in fact finished on the same score of 581, but Divya and Sarabjot were classified top with 24 inner-10s on their card.
Damir and Zorana were second with 19 inner-10s while the Turkish player were third with 16 inner-10s to their name.
The Indians began the final with two identical 10.5s in the first series of single shots to take a 2-0 lead. However, 13 series later, in which there were two tied series as well where both men and both women shot identical shots, the two teams stood tied at 14-14.
With the 15th winner takes all series on the line, Sarabjot came up with the goods to fire a 10.6 while Divya backed him up with a 9.9. However, even though Damir shot a 10.3, Zorana faltered with an 8.6 as the Indians pulled off a famous victory.
China 1-2 in the air rifle mixed team
It was all China in the first medal event of the day, the 10m air rifle mixed team. Huang Yuting and Sheng Lihao defeated compatriots Wang Zhilin and Yang Haoran in what was the first 16-14 gold medal match scoreline of the day. Czech Republic won bronze as both Indian pairs in the event could not make it to the medal rounds.
While Tilottama Sen and Hriday Hazarika shot a combined 627.6 for a 17th place finish, Ramita and Rudrankksh Patil were further down in 28th having shot a score of 626.3.
India in second place
India are placed second in the medal tally with one gold and a bronze medal as China move to the top with one gold and a silver to their name so far. There are six more gold medals to be decided over the next three days of competition