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Gorkha Shooter Jitu Rai wins another silver at ISSF World Cup

New Delhi : Continuing his good run of form, Gorkha pistol shooter Jitu Rai on Monday clinched a silver medal in the ISSF World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia, after Ayonika Paul bagged her maiden international medal as a senior shooter by settling for a bronze in the 10m air rifle event. In the finals of the 50-metre pistol event, Rai missed out on the gold medal by 0.1 point having shot 193.1, after aggregating 568 in the qualification round. The gold medal went to Serbia's Damir Mikec, who shot 568, while the bronze was won by Japanese Tomoyuki Matsuda for shooting 172.9. The 27-year-old shooter from Lucknow had last week bagged a silver medal in the men's 10-metre air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich. Earlier in the day, the 21-year-old Ayonika finished third in the qualification round with a score of 417.3. She went on to shoot a score of 185.3 in the final to clinch the bronze medal. "This is my first ever World Cup medal and I am really happy. I must thank NRAI for their support. I also want to specially thank Olympic Gold Quest for their wonderful support to me. 

They have sent me quite a few times to Austria for training stints under world renowned coach Thomas Farnik which has really improved my technique," an elated Ayonika said. "I also work with Olympic Gold Quest sports psychologist Vaibhav Agashe and sports medicine specialist Dr Nikhil Latey. They have both made a big difference to my confidence and fitness." The 2012 Olympic Champion, China's Yi Siling, won the gold medal, ending up on the highest step of the podium with a total score of 209.6 points. Wu Liuxi took the second place with 207.6 points. National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh congratulated both the shooters and motivated them and the others to give their best in the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Ayonika has had a very consistent season. She finished sixth in the World Cup in USA earlier this year. Her consistency has been rewarded with not just her first ever World Cup medal but also a place in the top 10 of the world rankings. Ayonika is currently ranked ninth in the world. Rai is the top ranked Indian shooter in both 10m air pistol and 50m free pistol. He had a good 2013 when he qualified for the World Cup final twice, in Munich and Changwon, Korea, in the 50m free pistol event.

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