Jitu Rai gave a glimpse of his magical touch as he rose from the eighth place to clinch the bronze medal in air pistol in the shooting World Cup at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Tuesday.
Jitu delighted the large gathering before losing the race for a better medal to the reigning Olympic champion Xuan Vinh Hoang of Vietnam by 0.6 point.
Jitu, who climbed past three Chinese including the former Asian Games champion Pu Qifeng, undid his dream run with an 8.6 last shot, after he had taken a 0.1 lead over the Rio Games champion, who sealed the fight with a 9.3.
Two-time World champion Tomoyuki Matsuda of Japanwon his seventh World Cup gold by recording a 3.5 point victory over the Vietnamese. After qualifying for the final in the seventh place despite a last shot of 9, for a modest total of 577, Jitu struggled to get his timing and rhythm in the 24-shot final.
Initial shots of 9.1 and 8.8 rattled the expectant fans, but Jitu stayed calm and composed throughout despite high and low shots.
Men: 10m air pistol: 1. Tomoyuki Matsuda (Jpn) 240.1 (WR) 578; 2. Xuan Vinh Hoang (Vie) 23.6 (581); 3. Jitu Rai 216.7 (577); 14. Omkar Singh 574; 19. Amanpreet Singh 572. MQS: Prakash Nanjappa 582; Maninder Singh 567.
50m rifle prone: 1. Toshikazu Yamashita (Jpn) 249.8 (WR) 619.3; 2. Lu Yukun (Chn) 249.3 (WRJ) 624.5; 3. Daniel Romanczyk (Pol) 226.6 (619.1); 7. Chain Singh 141.9 (618.0); 12. Sushil Ghalay 617.9; 15. Gagan Narang 617.0. MQS: Sanjeev Rajput 619.2; Rahul Poonia 610.6.