Arjun Babuta, a young Indian shooter, upset Lucas Kozeniesky, a silver medalist from the Tokyo Olympics, to win the men’s 10m air rifle competition on Monday and kick off his nation’s campaign at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Changwon.
Arjun defeated Kozeniesky of the United States 17-9 in the gold-medal match.
Arjun has now won his first gold medal for the senior team. At the 2016 Junior World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan, he had won the gold medal.
The 23-year-old Punjabi athlete, who has been competing for India since 2016, earlier won the ranking round with a brilliant 261.1 points to secure a spot in the gold medal match.
Sergey Richter of Israel, the leader in qualification, finished third with a score of 259.9 while Kozeniesky scored 260.4 to join him.
Parth Makhija, the other competing Indian, came in fourth with a score of 258.1 and also qualified for the ranking event in fifth after a strong performance on Sunday.
After the first seven single-shot series, Arjun quickly built a 10-4 lead, and there was no stopping him in the championship match.
Each series winner receives two points; in the event of a tie, the points are divided, and the match is won by the player who reaches 16 points first.
The American fought till the very end, but Arjun came through with those enormous high 10s and a clinical finish for a commanding score, helping India open their account with the brightest gold they could possibly win.