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Jitu, Heena bring cheer to Indian camp

Jitu, Heena bring cheer to Indian camp
Highlights

There was some cheer for India after two barren days as the duo of Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu triumphed in the 10 metre mixed team air pistol event of the ISSF World Cup, in New Delhi, on Monday.

New Delhi: There was some cheer for India after two barren days as the duo of Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu triumphed in the 10 metre mixed team air pistol event of the ISSF World Cup, in New Delhi, on Monday.

However, since the mixed event is being used on a trial basis in line with International Olympic Committee's aim to achieve gender equality in its 2020 Tokyo Olympics program, medals are not being awarded even though the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) executive committee has ratified the recommendations.

The mixed event got its start with the 10m air rifle event at the World Cup on Saturday with China winning the gold medal over Japan. In an event, where coordination plays a key role, Jitu teamed up with Heena to finish ahead of Japan's Yukari Konishi and Tomoyuki Matsuda 5-3.

Slovenia's Naphaswan Yangpaiboon and Kevin Venta settled for third. They were trailing in the semi-finals stage but staged a spirited fightback to enter the gold medal match and eventually won the 'golden badge'.

"It was good, very interesting, the opinions are still divided since it is early days. It will take time to settle down. But we will have to start preparing for this in earnest as this, we assume, is going to be part of the Olympics and World Championships," Heena, a former world number one, said after the event.

World Championship and Asian Games silver medallist Jitu said, "I am trying to figure out how it works. We are having a little difficulty right now as far as coordination is concerned but once the rules gets clear it will be better for us."

The recommendations to include mixed gender event was given by the Abhinav Bindra-led ISSF Athletes Committee and the world governing body soon approved the proposal.

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