In a first for shooting, India's Angad Veer Singh Bajwa teamed up with Haley Dunn of the USA to claim the Grand Prix bronze medal in mixed team skeet event of the ISSF World Cup on Friday. With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) firm on its stand to achieve gender equality in its 2020 Tokyo Olympics program, the unique concept of mixed event was tried out for the first time on a global stage.
Friday's event was the most unique in the sense that a shooter from a country paired up with an athlete from another for the first time in the sport's history at world level.
Angad and Haley got the better of Robert Johnson and Caitlin Connor 28-26 in the bronze medal match at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range on the last day of the tournament. Earlier, among the 22 pairings who entered the mixed team skeet event, six qualified for the semi-final round. They were clubbed into two groups of three pairs each. One pair was then eliminated on the basis of having the lowest score after 30 targets. The winner went through to the gold medal match while the second placed team made it to the bronze medal round.
Angad and Haley finished second in their group, shocking Italy's reigning Olympic champion pairing of Gabrielle Rossetti and Diana Bacosi. In the bronze medal match, Angad was in sublime form, missing just one target out of his allotted 15 to easily beat the all-American pair of Johnson-Connor in partnership with Haley.
India, thus, ended its campaign with five medals — one gold, two silver and two bronze — holding on their own in a tournament that was graced by some of the world's top shooters. Additionally, the host nation also won Grand Prix gold in the mixed team 10m air pistol, besides Angad's bronze in the mixed team skeet.
"It was amazing. I enjoyed the experience," Angad, who took up the event only four years ago, said.
Angad thanked Olympic Gold Quest for supporting him. "OGQ has been a huge support last three years. They have been there for everything — physios, financial part of it, the ammunition, it wouldn't have been possible without them."
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