India's Heena Sidhu bagged a gold medal in the 10m air pistol category of the international shooting competition of Hannover last evening, in what marked as a strong build-up to next week's ISSF World Cup in Munich.
Heena was in a rollicking form in the final where she was tied with France's Mathilde Lamolle on 239.8 points. She won the tie shot to clinch the gold ahead of Mathilde.
Shri Nivetha, also from India, settled for a bronze medal with a score of 219.2.
After beginning with a series of scores in the 9s, Heena switched gears and notched up 10 and above consistently to break away from the field. Her second series produced consistent 10s and she even hit a perfect 10.9 in the elimination round to put herself in contention for gold.
After initially fighting for the 3rd-4th position, Heena scored a 10.9 on her 13th shot in the final to take the lead and then held her nerve till the end. Heena qualified for the final in the fourth place scoring 572, while Shri Nivetha topped the qualification with a total of 582.
"I am feeling good with how my training is shaping up. Of course, it's not perfect but we are moving in the right direction so it's just a matter of time," said Heena after her gold medal win. "I am really looking forward to the competition in Munich."
The Munich World Cup, which will be held from May 22 to May 29, will be Heena's second major competition after her twin medal success at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and the World Cup in Korea. Heena had won gold in the 25 metre sports category in Gold Coast and a silver in her pet event, the 10 metre air pistol.
The gold in Hannover will further push her claim for the World Cup as she aims to better her scores and finish on a high in Munich.
"Technically I am sound, just need some tweaking in the mental management for 60 shots," Heena said.
The field included 2012 London Olympic Games silver medallist and France's Celine Goberville who was placed seventh in the finals. Germany's Carina Wimmer was fourth followed by Sandrine Goberville of France (fifth) and Michelle Skeries of Germany (sixth).