Teenager Anish Bhanwala along with Neeraj Kumar were in line for making the final of men's 25m rapid fire pistol in the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. The 15-year-old Bhanwala, in his maiden senior World Cup outing, stood third after the first qualifying round of the event that includes three 2016 Olympic medallists.
Anish, who recently equalled the world record in the event in the national trials, shot 294 out of 300 in the precision stage, to lie behind China's Rio bronze medallist Yuehong Li, who shot the same score to be in second place and France's Clement Bessaguet, last year's New Delhi World Cup Finals silver medallist, who shot 295 to be on top of the qualifying ladder.
Also in line for a final berth was Anish's senior teammate Neeraj Kumar, who shot 291 to lie in sixth place. The top six in the event at the end of the two qualifying stages, the precision stage and the rapid-fire stage, make it to the medal round.
The rapid fire stage and the final are slated for Thursday. Lying fourth and fifth at this stage were Rio gold and silver medallists Christian Reitz of Germany (292) and Jean Quiquampoix of France (292).
Anish's performance comes in the wake of impressive performances earlier in the competition by teenagers Manu Bhaker and Mehuli Ghosh in the women's pistol and rifle events, where they won two gold and two bronze medals between themselves.
In the only final scheduled on Wednesday, the Finnish pair of Satu Makela-Nummela and Vesa Tornroos won the trap mixed team gold medal. The only Indian pair competing -- that of Kynan Chenai and Seema Tomar -- shot a combined 132 to finish 14th in the event. Besides the men's rapid fire pistol final, day six also has the women's rifle 3 positions final scheduled where the experienced Tejaswini Sawant, Anjum Moudgil and N. Gaayathri will carry Indian hopes. India top the medals tally with three gold and four bronze.