The 27-year-old was in 7th place at the end of the Kneeling shooting, and 5th after the Prone. He ended up overtaking his teammate at the second-to-last shot after an incredible comeback. Switzerland’s Jan Lochbihler placed 3rd and claimed the Bronze medal.
Chinese shooter Hui Zicheng climbed once again on the highest step of the ISSF World Cup podium. Indeed, it is the sixth career World Cup Gold for him, who curiously never claimed a Silver or Bronze in his career in this competition, walking on the 1st step everytime he reaches the podium.
Today, the 27-year-old performed an amazing comeback in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men final, as he was placed 7th after the first 15 shots and 5th at the end of the Prone shooting.
“It’s not the first time I do something like this in my career,” said Hui after the award ceremony. “I wasn’t actually looking at the scores along the match, but I felt that my shooting was getting better and better.”
With just four shots left, Hui was 3.0 points behind his teammate Sun Jian (25), who was making his first appearance in an ISSF event and led the match both at the end of the Kneeling series and after the 30th shot.
At that point, Hui grabbed the inertia of the match and started shooting with extreme precision: he hit the 10th ring with three of those last four shots, while at the same time Sun probably started feeling some pressure and nailed some poor scores.
Hui sealed his Gold medal with a great 10.6, finishing the match with 454.2 points, while Sun followed with 451.6 points.
“I think my experience played an important role in this duel,” confessed the Gold medalist.
Switzerland’s Jan Lochbihler (24), who placed 30th in this event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, also performed a great comeback, as he was standing in 6th place after 15 shots. Indeed, he nailed an excellent Prone series, climbing to the medal positions and battling with Hui and Sun all along the Standing shooting.
Lochbihler then concluded 3rd with 440.2 points, obtaining the best placement of his career in a World Cup match.
Thailand’s Napis Tortungpanich (21) also made it into his first ISSF final match, finishing in 4th place with 429.5 points, followed by home favorite Sanjeev Rajput of India.
The 36-year-old from Jagadhri, who participated in 38 ISSF World Cup stages since he started competing in 2001, placed 5th with 420.6 points, but won the warmest applause from a packed finals hall as he competed evenly with the best shooters all along the match.
Japan’s 39-year-old Yamashita Toshikazu, 22nd in this event at Rio 2016, finished 6th with 410.2 points.
After the 40th shot, the lowest ranked shooter in the standings were Pan Junhui of the People’s Republic of China, competing here in his first senior final after a successful career as junior shooter, and Peter Sidi of Hungary, the 2010 ISSF World Champion in this event. Pan placed 8th with 393.8 points, while Sidi finished in 7th place with 400.1.
The ISSF World Cup Stage 1 in New Delhi will continue tomorrow with two more finals: the 50m Rifle 3 Positions Women at 1:00 pm (UTC+5:30) and the Double Trap Men at 3:30 pm. Both of them will be streamed live on www.issf-sports.org and on the ISSF official Facebook page.
News and updates about the competition are available on the ISSF website and on its social media profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Weibo and Youku.