Final 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men
ISSF World Cup Final Rifle / Pistol / Shotgun · New Delhi, IND
Ten years after participating in his first ISSF World Cup Final, and capping his seventh start in this competition in New Delhi (IND), United States’ Keith Sanderson finally climbed atop the podium, claiming his first ISSF crystal globe in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Gold.
Carrying the second highest qualification score, 42-year-old Sanderson shot consistently through the whole final match, nailing two perfect 5-hit series and taking the lead at the end of the fifth one, when he placed 1st alongside his Korean rival Song. Firing two consecutive 4-hit series, then, the experienced American finally managed to put some distance between himself and his closest opponent, France’s 26-year-old Clement Bessaguet, sealing the victory with 3 hits in the final one.
“In my first couple of World Cup Final starts I really had no idea what I was doing,” said Sanderson, whose Gold medal is the second one won by the United States in New Delhi. “Last year it was pretty bad to finish dead last in Bologna, but here, I prepared a lot for this competition, and I think that the outcome speak for itself… It feels great to finally win the title.”
“I retired from the US Army just a couple of weeks ago,” he added. “So I’ll be moving to Seattle and start a new job there. It’s going to be a bit complicated, so I won’t be competing anymore this year. But I’ll keep training of course.”
“I have some pretty good friends in the US Shotgun team,” concluded Sanderson, who was the only Rifle/Pistol shooter representing the United States at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range. “I like to be around good athletes, and Team USA has some amazing Shotgun shooters!”
Sanderson’s finished with 33 hits, only one away from the current World Record, while after nailing the best qualification score, Bessaguet took Silver with 29.
Competing in his first career World Cup Final, Republic of Korea’s 27-year-old Song Jong Ho took Bronze with 24 hits.
Azerbaijan’s Ruslan Lunev took 4th place after losing a shoot-off against Song, finishing with 22 hits and barley missing his first career World Cup Final medal. Previously, the 28-year-old Azerbaijani shooter survived another tie-breaking shoot-off to avoid elimination in 5th place, besting Lao Jiajie of the People’s Republic of China, Gold medalist at this year’s World Cup stage in New Delhi.
The Chinese 27-year-old concluded his final with 17 hits.
Rio 2016 Olympic Gold medalist and World Cup Final title holder Christian Reitz of Germany was the first to leave the match, finishing 6th with 12 hits.