Iran’s Najmeh Khedmati claimed 10m air rifle gold ©ISSF

Iran’s Najmeh Khedmati claimed the 10 metre air rifle gold medal on the third day of the Asian Shooting Olympic Qualifier in New Delhi today as Japan secured their third title in successive days.

Khedmati, an Asian Games gold medallist at Incheon 2014, was locked in a compelling battle with Indian rivals Ayonika Paul and Pooja Ghatkar throughout the final.

She claimed the lead after the 18th shot when a disappointing 8.8 from Ghatkar saw her slip from first to third.

Khedmati and Paul eventually finished level on 205.9 points to force a shootoff, which the Iranian won brilliantly with a 10.1 to secure her country's first gold medal of the tournament.

Paul had to settle with silver after managing 9.9 with her final shot, while Ghatkar took bronze with 184.5 points.

Khedmati had already gained an Olympic quota place, meaning Paul took the first available shot.

AsIndia had already collected one, however, with Apurvi Chandela, achieved in last year's World Cup circuit, the second one went to fourth-placed South Korean, Lee Eunseo.

Tomoyuki Matsuda claimed Japan's third gold medal of the Championships so far ©ISSF
Tomoyuki Matsuda claimed Japan's third gold medal of the Championships so far ©ISSF

There was no stopping Japan in the men's 50m pistol event, meanwhile, as 2010 world champion Tomoyuki Matsuda overcame North Korean duo Kim Song Guk and Kim Jong Su.

Matsuda dominated the second half of the competition, finishing with a 10.8 to complete a superb final score of 191.6 points, in comparison to his rivals respective totals of 185.8 and 166.8.

The Japanese marksman had already secured a quota place, however, meaning both qualification spots went to North Korea.

The Asian Qualifier is being held in New Delhi after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to recognise last year's continental championships in Kuwait City due to Kuwait being suspended from the IOC for Governmnent interference.

Action is due to continue tomorrow with the men's 10m air rifle and double trap events.