Bhanwala clinches bronze in Men’s 25m in rapid-fire pistol


It is an event where India has an Olympic medal but has hardly won anything on the international stage. The Olympic medal and the two previous world cup stage medals were all won by one man, Vijay Kumar. Anish Bhanwala broke that jinx after 12 years, when he won bronze in the men’s 25m rapid-fire pistol on the final competition day of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol in Cairo, Egypt.
It was his first senior individual World Cup stage medal as well and he earned it the hard way, coming through three shoot-offs en route to what will be a landmark day in the 20-year-old’s career. Italian Massimo Spinella won gold with 32 hits in the medal match, over World Championship silver medallist Clement Bessaguet of France who fell short by two hits after 40 shots.
Anish had bowed out in bronze position after 30 shots with 21 hits. He however ensured Rio Olympic Champion Christian Reitz of Germany was denied a medal as the German got knocked out after 20 shots with 13 hits to his name.
Anish’s effort meant that India finished the Cairo World Cup with seven medals, including four gold, to top the standings.
Dedicating the medal to his coach Harpreet Singh who according to Anish, “also reached many finals for India but could not win a medal,” the youngster admitted that it was a “dream come true”. He said after the medal match, “I had come fifth in two finals before and was determined today to win my first world cup medal.”
Anish said, “I was focussing on keeping myself calm and it paid off. In the national camp, we have been training on how to self-regulate during pressure situations and it helped today. The tougher one was the fourth series in the medal match, where I had to beat the former Olympic Champion. I told myself this is the series which will make my dream come true, visualised it, and
executed perfectly.”