New Delhi, Jun 4: Swapnil Kusale and Ashi Chouksey drew curtains on India's campaign at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun in Baku, Azerbaijan with a gold medal in the 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) mixed team competition, here on Saturday. The pair of Swapnil and Ashi beat Ukranian's Serhiy Kulish and Daria Tykhova 16-12 in the gold medal match.  This was India's second gold in the tournament after the trio of Elavenil Valarivan, Shreya Agarwal and Ramita clinched a yellow metal in the 10m air rifle women's team event. Besides, the Indian shooters had also bagged three silvers in the tournament and finished second on the medals tally behind Korea. Swapnil Kusale, Ashi Chouksey Win Gold For India At ISSF Shooting World Cup 2022.

It was also Swapnil's first gold and third medal overall at the Baku World Cup. He had earlier won silvers in both the men's 3P individual and men's team competitions. In the first qualification stage played earlier in the day, Swapnil and Ashi finished fourth with a combined score of 881 out of 900 to qualify for stage two among 31 teams. The Ukranian pair finished second to march into the top eight stage. In stage two, the Indian pair finished second with an effort of 583 out of 600. It was the same score as the Ukranians but the Indians topped on countback.

In the final, Ukraine started stronger and opened up a 6-2 lead after the first four single-shot series. But the Indian pair fought back admirably, winning six of the next eight series to go ahead 14-10. Serhiy and Daria were not the ones to give up and narrowed the deficit down to 14-12 before Swapnil and Ashi claimed the well-deserved victory. This was India's second ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup of the year. The Indian shooters had topped the first World Cup stage in Cairo in the beginning of the year before both the rifle and pistol teams opted out of the Rio World Cup in April.

India was represented by a 12-member rifle squad in Baku. The shotgun team also participated in two World Cup stages, winning medals in each of them.

All three squads will be seen in action in the fourth and final Changwon World Cup stage next month, before the big-ticket event -- the World Championships later this year.

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