Ace Indian shooter Jitu Rai shrugged off the disappointment of a poor Olympic campaign by clinching a silver medal in the 50m pistol event of the ISSF World Cup Final here today.
Jitu shot a score of 188.8 to finish behind China’s Wei Pang (190.6). Italy’s Giuseppe Giordano settled for the bronze medal with a score of 170.3 in the final.
Jitu equalled his own record in the qualification round which he had shot in Maribor World Cup in 2014.
“After Rio Olympics, I competed for the first time today at Italy. My performance at Rio was not good. (Rio 2016 Olympics ke baad maine aaj pehla match khela Italy mai. Rio mai acha nahi raha tha mera performance),” Jitu wrote in his twitter handle.
“Today I won the silver medal at World Cup Finals with national record score in 50m. I am very happy with my performance (Aaj Silver medal jeeta World Cup Finals mai with National record score in 50m FP. Bahot khush hu performance se).
“World’s top 10 shooters compete at the World Cup Finals. I am thankful to Army, NRAI and OGQ for supporting me. (World cup finals mai duniya ke top 10 shooters ate hai. Army, @OfficialNRAI and @OGQ_India ko dhanyawad mujhe support karne ke liye),” he wrote.
Jitu started the event on a strong note and led the field after the first four series. He finished strongly on second position with a qualification score of 568 which is his personal best score.
In the finals, Jitu had a bad patch of shots in the middle, but held his nerves and twice came from behind to win the silver medal.
This was Jitu’s first ever medal in the World Cup Finals where the top 10 shooters of the world for this season compete. This year Jitu had won two medals in the World Cups.
Jitu will be competing in the 10m Air Pistol event on October 8th.
Jitu, who was touted as India’s best shooting medal hope in Rio but failed to deliver, had earlier won a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan in the 10m Air Pistol event.
“Congratulations to Jitu Rai. He needs to plan his next four year cycle meticulously,” tweeted India’s first and only individual Olympic gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra referring to Jitu’s Rio Games debacle.
During the 2016 Olympics, Jitu had finished at the eight spot in the final of the 10M air pistol event, while in 50m pistol event, he had signed off at a disappointing 12th place.