INDIA'S SIDHU CLINCHED UNEXPECTED 10M AIR PISTOL WOMEN WORLD CUP FINAL GOLD
India's Heena Sidhu, 24, won the 10m Air Pistol Women event at the ISSF World Cup Final in Munich, Germany, today.
The young shooter beat the reigning World Champion, Zorana Arunovic, 26, from Serbia, in the final face-to-face for the brightest medal, closing the round with a total score of 203.8 points to Arunovic's 198.6 points.
Sidhu did not really expect to finish atop of the ISSF World Cup Final podium, this year. She had never won a world-level competition before, and her best placements during this year's ISSF World Cup Series had been two 8th places reached in Changwon (KOR) and here in Munich, last May.
The Indian finalist had not even been shortlisted among the 8 qualified athletes to participate in this year's World Cup Final in this event. But when three other international athletes withdrew their participation, she was called to compete thanks to the points she had gained in Changwon and Munich.
“This medal is a bit of surprise. I was not even supposed to participate in this World Cup Final. The qualified athlete could not come here, and the following two qualified shooters withdraw their participation. I was the next in the qualification line and I picked up the chance. I had to do my visa and arrange a flight to come here in two days!” Sidhu siad.
“There's a lot of work behind this Cup. I started shooting because my family is involved in the shooting sport, and I became a professional athlete when I found out that I was good at it.”
“I have been training for years without winning any world-level medal. Today was just my day: everything came together.”
“I love this sport. Shooting is all about yourself. By practicing this sport, you get to know yourself. It's all about learning how to keep it cool when the pressure is rising, building up concentration, and learning how to schedule your daily work... it reflects on every aspect of your life.”
Serbia's Arunovic, currently ranked #2 in the world, placed in second with an overall score of 198.6 points, 5.2 points behind Sidhu, after fighting for the Silver medal against the 4-time Olympian Viktoria Chaika, 32, from Belarus, who eventually placed in third with 176.8 points.
The title defender, the winner of last year's ISSF World Cup Final in Bangkok Olena Kostevych of the Ukraine, did not make it to the podium placements today. She followed the leading trio in fourth place, with 158.8 points. At the same time, the home hero, Germany's 44-year old Munkhbayar Dorjsuren, a 1992 and 2008 Olympic Bronze medallist, ended up in 5th place with 138.5 points.
This finals turned into a bitter match for the winner of this year's ISSF World Cup Stage in Granada, Alejandra Zavala of Mexico, 29, who led this morning's qualifications, finishing then in eighth place at the end of the final. With the new ISSF rules, the qualification score is not carried forward into the final anymore. The medal match is indeed a new phase of the competition, and it starts from zero. After the eighth final shot - and from there on after every two shots - the shooter with the lowest score has to leave the match. Zavala, with 78.2 points, was indeed the first to leave it, taking the 8th place with 78.2 points.
The 2012 25m Pistol Olympic Champion Kim Jangmi of Korea, 21, followed her, taking the seventh place with 97.0 points at 10th the shot, after a close head and head against the 1988 Olympic Champion Jasna Sekaric of Serbia.The 47-year old Serbian shooter made it to today's final in eighth place, with the lowest qualification score of 380 points, and concluded her competition in 6th place with 117.0 points.