Shooter Rhythm breaks long-standing world record but misses medal

Baku: Indian shooter Rhythm Sangwan smashed a 29-year-old world record in the qualification round and later missed out on a medal as she finished eighth in the women’s 25m pistol event at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol here.

Rhythm shot a stunning 595 to top the 25m pistol qualification, obliterating the world record first created by Diana Iorgova of Bulgaria back in 1994 in Milan.

It had been equalled twice thereafter, most recently by German Doreen Vennekamp at the Bhopal World Cup in March this year.

Doreen won bronze here in Baku while China’s Feng Sixuan picked up a second consecutive World Cup gold in the event with 38 hits in the final to Iranian silver medallist Haniyeh Rostamiyan’s 33.

Rhythm, who won her maiden individual senior World Cup medal — a bronze — in the women’s 10m air pistol here on Wednesday, was the first shooter to be eliminated in the eight-woman final with 10 hits in the first four five-shot series.

Rhythm also broke the junior women’s 25m pistol world record, which was set 34 years ago by Russian Nino Salukvadze who shot 593 at the European Championship in Zagreb. India’s Manu Bhaker had equalled that effort in 2018 at the Asian Games in Jakarta.

India registered a no-medal day for the first time in the tournament. Even though Rhythm topped qualification with her 595, teammates Esha Singh and Manu shot 582 and 578 respectively to finish at 13th and 27th positions.

Abhidnya Ashok Patil, playing for ranking points, registered a score of 576.

All three Indian contenders in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) also fell short of the top eight mark.

Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar shot 586 for a 10th place finish while Akhil Sheoran was 13th with 585 and Swapnil Kusale further back in 22nd with a score of 583. Pankaj Mukheja, shooting for ranking points, only shot 581.

The day also saw the first precision qualification round for the men’s 25m rapid-fire pistol (RFP) where India’s Vijayveer Sidhu shot a solid 293 to be among the top scores currently.