Today News Online Service
New Delhi, March 25
The inner rumblings of the Hungarian team came to the fore at the ISSF World Cup as the team walked out of the gold medal play-off against India in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions.
It forced the organisers to postpone the final. Five-time Olympian Peter Sidi’s illegal equipment, a bipod that was glued to his gun, was the reason his teammates pulled out.
Sidi’s teammates Istvan Peni and Zavan Pekler informed ISSF technical delegate Yair Davidovich and the referees that they would not be competing along-side Sidi.
The officials announced that the gold medal round would now be held between India and the USA, who had finished third in qualification.
All this happened while the Indian team consisting of Swapnil Kusale, Chain Singh and Niraj Kumar kept waiting for the confusion to get over.
Peni confirmed that the team had raised objections about Sidi’s bipod. “Sidi has violated rules throughout his career. We had an agreement that he would not be using the bipod. However, he broke it. We have had enough of his violations,” Peni said. “He had been disqualified from the Nationals for the same reason. The pull-out was a message to him that the Hungarian shooting community wouldn’t tolerate his illegal ways.”
Sidi said the equipment was cleared by the ISSF. “I haven’t violated any ISSF rule book. If ISSF doesn’t have a problem with it then why should anyone?” he said.
Indian rifle team chief coach Deepali Deshpande said the team should have been awarded the gold medal as technically the Hungarian team walked off.
25M team gold
Meanwhile, India bagged another gold as Rahi Sarnobat, Manu Bhaker and Chinki Yadav won the women’s team gold in the 25m pistol competition by beating the Polish team of Joanna Wawrzonowska, Julita Borek and Agnieszka Korejwo 17 points to seven.
The Indian girls looked relaxed after finishing their last competition and said they were looking forward to spending some time away from the ranges.
“We will all go back for some time,” Rahi Sarnobat said. “The break will be for two-three days, then we have to get back to training and try to get back in our best shape.”
All three agreed that the key positive for them was to compete again. “There weren’t a lot of teams but there were good teams so it was great to be back competing again,” Manu said.
Earlier, in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions women’s team final, Anjum Moudgil, Shreya Saksena and Gaayathri Nithyanadam lost 43-47 to Poland to settle for silver.