India’s Mairaj Ahmad Khan finished 4th at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup Final in Rome on Thursday losing a shoot-off against Egypt’s Azmy Mehelba in the skeet event.

Mairaj had qualified for the final after scoring 118 in the qualification round. He finished tied 6th place with two other shooters but advanced to the final after a superior score in the shoot-off.

The Indian then shot 14 out of 16 targets in the third place shoot-off whereas Mehelba missed only one target to finish on 15 points. After an impressive qualifying round, Mairaj had finished 9th at the Rio Olympics thereby missing out a spot in the final. He was involved in a five-way shoot-off for the last two spots in the final.

He won a silver medal at the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year.

Mairaj’s impressive showing comes after Jitu Rai won a silver in the 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup Final in Bologna recently. 

Mairaj’s showing at Rio was, in fact, praised by the NRAI review committee’s report. He was lauded for an impressive debut at the age of 40, for his ‘commendable performance’. The report said he was a “good example of an outside shot , who was sincere, being able to perform very well simply by following the plans of a good coach for a long period.”

The Indian shooters, who have come in for criticism after their disappointing showing at the Olympics, are beginning to find their feet again. Long may that continue.

With PTI inputs

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