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Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu Win India's First Gold At ISSF World Cup Final

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| October 24 , 2017 , 16:08 IST

Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu combined to give India their first gold medal of the ISSF World Cup Final in New Delhi, clinching the top honours in the 10m air pistol mixed team event on the opening day of competitions.

Rai, a Commonwealth and Asian Games gold-medallist, and Sidhu, also a former Commonwealth Games gold-winner, picked up their third gold together in the mixed team event, being held officially for the first time at an ISSF World Cup.

The mixed team competitions were organised as test events in the World Cups held earlier this year and will be making their Olympic debut in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

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Rai and Sidhu qualified for the finals as top of the table on Tuesday and comfortably claimed the gold by pipping France, who secured the silver medal.

China settled for the bronze medal in the event.

Some top global stars who will be seen in action include three time Olympic Champion skeet shooter Kimberly Rhode of the USA, Vietnams first ever Olympic champion Xuan Vinh Hoang in mens air pistol, and the USAs 20-year old Virginia Thrasher, who won the womens 10M air rifle gold in Rio on her Olympic debut.

China, with 26 competitors, are the largest squad at the ISSF World Cup. Among their top shooters in fray will be Mengxue Zhang, the womens 25M pistol Olympic champion and Zhang Binbin, last years champion in the womens rifle 3 positions event.

The Indian Squad: Jitu Rai (10M Pistol Men, 50M Pistol Men. Mixed team Air Pistol), Amanpreet Singh (50M Pistol Men), Pooja Ghatkar (10M Air Rifle Women), Ravi Kumar (10M Air Rifle Men), Ankur Mittal (Double Trap Men), Shapath Bharadwaj (Double Trap Men), Sangram Dahiya (Double Trap Men), Heena Sidhu (Mixed Team Air Pistol), Meghana Sajjanar (Mixed Team Air Rifle), Deepak Kumar (Mixed Team Air Rifle).