Monday, December 5 2022

India won a sensational gold medal in the junior men’s team trap event at the ISSF World Shotgun Championship, beating Italy 6-4 in the final on Saturday.

It was also India’s first medal of the championship. The United States won bronze.

It was no small feat for the trio of Shapath Bharadwaj, Shardul Vihan and Arya Vansh Tyagi, as the Italians are long-established powerhouses in the shotgun discipline.

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Especially as the Indians trailed the Italian team of Edoardo Antonioli, Emanuele Iezzi and Gianmarco Barletta 0-4 before making a remarkable comeback.

Earlier in the day, Shapath, Shardul and Arya Vansh had shot a total of 205 in the qualifying phase, where each member shot three rounds of 25 targets each, to finish second behind the Italians who shot 206, qualifying as well for the gold medal game. .

Nothing was easy for the Indians that day as they tied with Team USA on the same scoreline and then beat them 2-0 in the play-off to secure a medal.

In the final, the three Indians missed a target each in the first 15-shot shootout. The winner of each play-off earns two points and the first to six wins.

The Italians missed two and took the first two points. Luck continued to elude the Indians until the second shootout, where they missed two of 15 shots, only to find the Italians missing just one to take the round and lead 4-0.

The Indians came back to win the third 13-12 to make it 4-2. Arya Vansh shot a second consecutive perfect five to lead India’s fightback.

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For the Italians, it was Edoardo Antonioli who circled the stars with three perfect fives, and he ultimately didn't miss the final to finish with five perfect fives.

It got even better for the Indians as they shot a perfect 15 in the fourth shootout and Emanuele Iezzi missed the 13th target to help India level at 4-4.

Gianmarco Barletta then missed his first target in the fifth shootout and India took a 6-5 lead, forcing the Italians into a timeout. It didn't help, as Iezzi missed the first shot after and the Indians advanced for a 9-7 lead. They had not missed 24 consecutive targets.

India made it 26 before Vihan missed the 27th but they were still ahead 11-9. The Italians finished strong, getting their last three birds, but the Indians tied, closing 14-12 with Arya Vansh shooting four straight fives and a total of 24 from 25 targets.

In the junior trap team event, the Indian trio of Preeti Rajak, Sabeera Haris and Aadya Tripathi couldn't make much progress, losing in the qualifying round with a combined effort of 172. They finished seventh .

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