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Mairaj Khan creates history, becomes first Indian to win skeet gold at ISSF World Cup | More sports News – Times of India


Mairaj Khan braved rough weather and poor light to create history on Monday. The Aligarh marksman became India’s first-ever skeet shooter to clinch a gold in men’s event at the World Cup as he topped the podium in the ISSF event in Changwon, South Korea.
Mairaj, 46, who became the first Indian skeet shooter to qualify for the Olympics in 2016, scored 37 in the rain-marred final to win gold.
In the qualifiers, the player from Uttar Pradesh shot 119 to tie at the eighth position with four other shooters, including Tokyo bronze medallist, Abdullah Alrashidi.

Mairaj shot 12 in the shoot-off to book the eight spot for the ranking round. In the ranking round, Mairaj scored 27 to enter the 4-man final.
In the 40-shot final, Mairaj scored 37 to beat South Korea’s Kim Minsu (36) and Britain’s Ben Llewellin (26).
The final got delayed by almost an hour and it was already 7pm local time when the final began, making it difficult for the shooters to see the targets.
“It was a tough match. The weather conditions made it difficult for all of us to shoot. It was raining and very windy,” Mairaj told TOI.
Mairaj is the only skeet shooter to have shot in two Olympic Games. He had finished ninth in the Rio Games, and 25th at the Tokyo Olympics.

Mairaj said he had to reset his shooting routine after the Tokyo disappointment. “After Tokyo, I took a break and found a new coach, Riccardo Filippelli, who has been working with me for the past six months. I think we are on the right track, at least today’s match suggests so,” he said.
Unlike before, Mairaj and Filippelli preferred to train in Aligarh, instead of their usual training venue, the Karni Singh Shooting Ranges in Tughlakabad, New Delhi.
“My coach wanted me to train without any disturbance and at a time of his choice. We have a small range in Aligarh, where we start training at 6 am to avoid crowds. The range is small, but it gives us liberty to follow and execute our plans,” Mairaj said.
This is Mairaj’s second World Cup medal after he won silver in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
In the rifle event, women’s 50m rifle 3 Position team comprising Anjum Moudgil, Ashi Chouksey, and Sift Kaur Samra won bronze.
With five gold, five silver and three bronze, India stayed on top of the medals tally. Hosts Korea are second with a total eight medals (3 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze), while Serbia, with three gold, are third.





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