Poor day for Indian shooters at Olympic qualifiers
Indian shooters missed out an Olympic quota for the second successive day with Elizabeth Susan Koshy finishing fourth in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event in the Asian qualifiers being held at the Karni Singh Shooting Range here on Sunday.
Star shooter Jasmine Xer of Singapore struck gold and the Olympic quota she had been chasing on the fifth day of the Asian Shooting Qualifiers. Iran’s Mahlagha Jambozorg took silver and Kyerim Lee of South Korea got the bronze, to also claim the other two quotas available in the event.
Jasmine gave early indications of her determination to claim an Olympic quota when she topped the qualifying stage with a score of 586 to enter the finals. Throughout the 45 shot final round split between the three positions of Kneeling, Prone and Standing, Jasmine remained inside the top two positions, except briefly after the end of the Prone series, when she slipped to fourth.
Kyerim Lee was giving her company at the top, displaying amazing consistency, while Mahlagha and Elizabeth seemed to be in a tough fight for the bronze. But after the first five shots of the Standing round, Jasmine had cemented her place at the top and following a disastrous 47.1 by Elizabeth, the Iranian and Korean shooters had pulled away from the rest of the field to fight for the silver and bronze positions.
Elizabeth finally got eliminated in the fourth position after the 43rd shot. She hit a 7.9 in her 33rd shot while standing and could never really recover from that after a bright first 30 shots in the finals.
In the women’s 25m Pistol event, none of the three Indians could qualify for the eight-woman final after Rahi Sarnobat finished 12th with a score of 575, Anisa Sayyed 17th (572) and Annu Raj Singh 21st (570) after two rounds of qualifying.
South Korea swept the medals in this event with Koh Eun winning gold, Munjung Kim the silver and Ji Hye Kim the bronze. The three Olympic quotas in the event were won by the Koreans (who could claim only one quota as they had already bagged one earlier), Japan’s Akiko Sato who finished fourth and fifth placed Shun Xie Teo of Singapore.
With two days to go, there are still four events and 10 quota places up for grabs in the competition. Monday will see the finals of the men’s 10m Air Pistol and women’s Skeet events.
Indian interests in the men’s event lie with Omkar Singh, Aman Pathania and Jitendra Vibhute while Saniya Sheikh, Arti Singh Rao and Rashmee Rathore will lead the hosts’ challenge in women’s Skeet. The men’s Air Pistol has two Rio quota places available while the women’s Skeet has only one.
Indian shooters endured a disappointing day at the Asia Shooting qualifiers at the Karni Singh Shooting range here on Saturday with none of them managing to secure a quota for the Rio Games.
In the men’s Double Trap Md. Asab, the World No.7 in the event, had to settle for a bronze thereby missing out on a Rio Olympics quota. Asab and Ankur Mittal qualified for the six-man semi-finals in the top two positions shooting an excellent 142 and 141 respectively.
The extent of their performance can be gauged by the fact that Kuwait’s double Olympic medalist Fehaid Aldeehani shot 140 to qualify behind the two Indians. In the semi-finals Ankur started off on the wrong foot from the very beginning but Asab looked on course to qualify for the gold medal match-up and bag one of the two quotas available, but a protest which got rejected and one inexplicable double miss meant that he missed out on the Gold medal match and quota by one point ending with a score of 26.
Khaled Alkaabi of the United Arab Emirate (UAE) shot 28 and Fehaid scored 27 to reach the gold medal match-up and claim the two Rio quotas available. In the bronze medal match Asab, who suffered a shoulder injury just before the competition that resulted him in not training for five days, regained his bearings back and defeated Korea’s Hyun Woo Shin 26-24.
“I tried my best and am very disappointed. I took a pain killer in the morning for my shoulder injury and the effects were starting to wear off. Due to my injury, I could not train properly for the finals here and it could have affected the final result today,” a visibly dejected Asab said after the medal ceremony.
Upcoming talent Akhil Sheoran made it through to the biggest final of his nascent senior career and looked set to grab one of the two Rio quotas available in the men’s 10m Air Rifle event, but eventually finished fourth to miss out by one position.
India had already had a quota through Abhinav Bindra.
Sheoran, competing in his first big event as a senior, came out with a creditable performance shooting a score of 620.1 in qualifying to make the final in eighth position. In the eight-man final, all except Kazakhstan’s Yuriy Yurkov were eligible for the two available quotas in the event.
Akhil was in contention for bronze and a quota till the 13th shot out of 20 before Iran’s Pourya Norouziyan got ahead of him on the 14th shot and held on. Akhil thus got eliminated in the fourth position finishing a final round with a score of 163. The gold in the event was claimed by Naoya Okada of Japan while Yurkov won the silver. Iran claimed the bronze. The two Rio quotas thus went to Japan and Iran.
The day also saw the commencement of the qualification rounds of the women’s 25m Pistol event. Annu Raj Singh was lying fourth with a score of 289 while Anisa Sayyed lay 13th with 288 and Rahi Sarnobat lay in 21st position with a score of 285. They will be looking to win one of the three available Olympic quotas in the event on Sunday.
Sunday will also see the finals of the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions event which also has three Olympic quotas on offer with India’s Lajja Gauswami and Elizabeth Susan Koshy as contenders.
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