Sonam Maskar shines with silver in Cairo shooting World Cup

Sonam Maskar, a debutant shooter from India, clinched the silver medal in the women’s 10m air rifle event of the ISSF World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday. She narrowly missed the gold by 0.9 point to Germany’s Anna Janssen, who scored 253.0 in the final. Another Indian shooter, Nancy Mandhotra, also reached the final but finished fourth, just 0.2 point behind the bronze medalist Aneta Stankiewicz of Poland.

Sonam, who hails from Pune, Maharashtra, had qualified for the final in the fifth place with a score of 632.7, while Nancy had topped the qualification round with 633.1. In the final, Sonam started strongly with a score of 53.0 in the first five-shot series, taking the lead over the other seven finalists. She maintained her lead until the 14th shot, when Anna overtook her with consistent high 10s. Sonam tried to catch up with Anna, but could not bridge the gap and settled for the silver with a score of 252.1.

Sonam, who is a student of mechanical engineering, said that she was happy and proud of her performance, and that she did not expect to win a medal in her first World Cup. She said that she had trained hard for the event, and that she was grateful to her coach and her family for their support and guidance. She also said that she was inspired by her fellow Indian shooters, especially Divyansh Singh Panwar, who had won the gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle event with a world record score of 253.1 on Saturday.

A promising talent

Sonam, who is 21 years old, started shooting in 2016, when she joined the Gun for Glory academy in Pune. She soon showed her talent and potential, and won several medals at the national and international level. She won the gold medal in the junior women’s 10m air rifle event at the Asian Airgun Championship in Taipei in 2019, and the silver medal in the same event at the Asian Shooting Championship in Doha in the same year. She also won the bronze medal in the senior women’s 10m air rifle event at the South Asian Games in Nepal in 2019.

Sonam, who is currently ranked 25th in the world in the women’s 10m air rifle event, said that her aim is to qualify for the Olympics and to win a medal for India. She said that she is working on improving her technique and mental strength, and that she is confident of achieving her goals. She also said that she is looking forward to participating in more international competitions, and that she hopes to inspire more young girls to take up shooting as a sport.

A strong showing

Sonam’s silver medal was the fifth medal for India in the Cairo World Cup, which is the first stage of the 2024 season. India is leading the medal tally with two gold and three silver medals so far, followed by Germany with one gold and one silver medal. India’s other medals came from Divyansh Singh Panwar (gold in men’s 10m air rifle), Arjun Babuta and Sonam Uttam Maskar (silver in 10m air rifle mixed team), and Rhythm Sangwan and Ujjwal Malik (gold in 10m air pistol mixed team).

The Cairo World Cup, which is being held from January 26 to February 5, features 10 events in rifle and pistol disciplines, and has attracted more than 200 shooters from 32 countries. The World Cup is also a qualification event for the 2024 Paris Olympics, and offers 16 quota places for the top-ranked shooters in each event.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *