World No. 1 Elavenil Valarivan was close to her best as she shot 253.0 in the final to top women’s air rifle in the National shooting selection trials at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Thursday.
The 22-year-old Elavenil’s final score was better than the world record of 252.9 held by Apurvi Chandela, who was below par and failed to make the final. Elavenil had earlier topped qualification with 631.6. She was 0.3 point ahead of Olympian Ayonika Paul who eventually placed seventh.
Third-placed Meghana Sajjanar (630.0) and fourth-placed Shriyanka Sadangi (630.9) were also very impressive in qualification.
In women’s air pistol, Manu Bhaker was too strong for the field, as she won with a total of 243.7 after having topped qualification with 584.
What was commendable was the manner in which the 47-year-old Padma Devaram of the Railways rose to the second spot ahead of a bunch of talented young girls including the Olympic quota winner Yashaswini Deswal.
Incidentally, Padma beat Yashaswini in the shoot off to progress after a tie midway through the final. She also had the second best qualification score of 577 along with Shri Nivetha who placed eighth in the final.
In men’s 50-metre rifle 3-position, Olympian Sanjeev Rajput emerged on top both in qualification and final ahead of fellow Olympic quota winner Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar.
In rapid fire pistol, Vijayveer Sidhu topped both qualification and final with big margins to emphasise his growing confidence in the event.
The results: Men: 25m rapid fire pistol: 1. Vijayveer Sidhu 35 (586); 2. Bhavesh Shekhawat 29 (581); 3. Adarsh Singh 24 (581). 50m rifle 3-position: 1. Sanjeev Rajput 462.2 (1176); 2. Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar 458.1 (1172); 3. Chain Singh 445.3 (1161).
Women: 10m air rifle: 1. Elavenil Valarivan 253.0 (631.6); 2. Vanshika Rathore 250.5 (625.7); 3. Meghana Sajjanar 229.0 (630.0).
10m air pistol: 1. Manu Bhaker 243.7 (584); 2. Padma Devaram 240.2 (577); 3. Rhythm Sangwan 220.2 (573).