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Vijay Kumar betters junior world record

HYDERABAD, JAN. 20. Vijay Kumar of Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU), Military Headquarters of War (MHOW) surpassed the long-standing sport pistol junior world record score of 585 by tallying 588.

The feat was accomplished at the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) range during the trials to pick the 2005 National squad and the Indian team for the Commonwealth shooting championships at Melbourne, Australia from March 9.

Sadly, he will not be able to compete in the May 2006 World championships junior category competition, for he will turn 21 next year. Dronacharya Awardee and National Chief Coach Prof. Sunny Thomas said the string of good performances from Vijay in the recent past would find him a place in the seniors team very soon.

Kumar could figure in the country's top five, not only in sport pistol but in the standard and rapid fire too, he added.

Sanjeev Rajput of Indian Navy with 1169 bettered the national record score of 1162 set by A.P. Subbiah in the free rifle three position. He was doing well in prone and air rifle as well. Kerala's U. Sindhu with 595 in the women's 50 metre rifle prone, improved on the national record of 592 established by Roopa Unnikrishnan.

Samresh Jung had two outstanding performances in the free pistol event for men, his scores of 560 and 563 good enough for qualification to most international finals. His air pistol score of 583 was another sterling effort.

Olympian Anjali Bhagwat cracked 398 out of 400 in the air rifle for women, followed a point behind by Deepali Deshpande.A dozen shooters exceeded the 390 mark, an indication that they were in fine form with two more days to go for completion of the trials.— Our Special Correspondent

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