The Indian 22-year-old took gold in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions final, besting Berhard Pickl of Austria and Istvan Peni of Hungary, who respectively took silver and bronze.
The fifth and last Rifle event of the ISSF World Cup Stage 1 in Guadalajara (MEX) gave India its fourth gold medal of the competition.
In his first-ever World Cup participation, indeed, 22-year-old Akhil Sheoran climbed on top of the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions podium, adding his name to the ones of Shahzar Rizvi, Manu Bhaker and Om Prakash Mitharval: the other Indian gold medalists in Guadalajara.
Sheoran, who was in 4th place after the kneeling position and 2nd at the end of the prone one, fired two 10.8s during the elimination phase, definitely taking the lead and distancing himself from Austria’s Bernhard Pickl.
The Austrian 27-year-old took silver with 452.0 points, besting the 8th place he nailed in Fort Benning (USA) in 2014, his only previous World Cup start.
The bronze medal was awarded to Istvan Peni (21), bronze medalist in this event at last year’s World Cup Final and gold medalist in the men’s 10m Air rifle event six day ago. The 21-year-old Hungarian finished with 442.3 points, securing his second World Cup in this event.
After standing on top position at the end of both the kneeling and prone series, Sheoran’s teammate Sanjeev Rajput (37) finished in 4th place with 430.9 points, followed by Hungary’s 39-year-old Peter Sidi, who placed 5th with 419.4 points in his sixty-fourth World Cup participation in this event.
The third Indian shooter of the final — 22-year-old first-time participant Swapnil Kusale — finished in 7th position with 407.2 points, while France’s 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Alexis Raynaud followed in 7th with 397.7.
Along with the French 23-year-old, also eliminated at the 40th-shot mark was Fu Zuyun of the People’s Republic of China, who took 8th place in his first World Cup start ever and scored 396.6 points.
The ISSF World Cup Stage 1 in Guadalajara (MEX) will conclude tomorrow with the Skeet Men final, scheduled at 5:00 pm (UTC-6:00).