Akhil Sheoran, who has secured Paris Olympic quota, won an individual medal in the ISSF World Cup for the second time in his career by winning the bronze medal in men's 50 meter rifle 3 positions on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Czech Republic's veteran Jiri Privratsky won gold with 462.9 points while two-time world champion Romain Aufrere of France (460.5 points) won the silver medal at the ISSF World Cup final.
Akhil, who stood second in the qualification with a score of 589, scored 451.8 in the final out of 45 shots among eight players. Akhil’s first shot of 10.3 in the Kneeling position was second best in the eight-man field. He maintained his second position after 10 as Italian Lorenzo Bacci took over the lead with reigning air rifle world champion Victor Lindgren rising up to third, just 0.1 behind the Indian. Firing a perfect 10.9 for in his 15th and final Kneeling position shot gave Akhil the lead for the first time in the match.
Akhil was 0.1 ahead of Aufrere at that stage and a second 10.9 for his 10th shot in the second Prone position extended that lead to 0.4, as the duo began putting a little gap between them and the field. Sheoran’s third 10.9 was the very next, the 26th and Aufrere also began giving way. By the end of the 15 Prone shots, Akhil’s tally of 312.5 was a healthy 1.9 ahead of Aufrere. His final Prone series was a scorching 53.5.
Standing is where things change dramatically in 3P and it did on the day as well as for the first time in the match, Akhil fired shots in the nine-ring. When Kazakh Konstantin Malinovskiy and Lindgren were first to be eliminated after 40-shots, Aufrere had overtaken Akhil by 0.3. Privratsky was also surging and Akhil managed to clinch bronze as a final shot of 7.9 by Aufrere gave Privratsky gold.
India finished with 6 medals at the ISSF World Cup and topped the table with two gold, three silver and one bronze medals.