Now Chenai secures Oly quota

Now Chenai secures Oly quota

Indian trap shooter finishes fourth; Vijay Kumar misses out

Now Chenai secures Oly quota

Keynan Chenai conjured the best performance of his young career by securing the 10th Olympic quota place for India in men’s trap event of the Asian Olympic Qualifying competition at the Dr Karni Singh Range on Thursday.

Though Chenai missed out on the bronze medal, he did enough to grab a ticket for the Rio Games. His feat lifted the gloom pervading the Indian camp after London Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar missed the slot in the 25M rapid fire pistol men’s event.

“This is easily the biggest achievement of my shooting career. I didn’t go with any expectations. I knew I was the underdog,” gushed Chenai, whose father Darius had clinched the men’s trap gold in National shotgun championship in Jaipur in December.

The 25-year-old was the lone Indian to make it to the finals, which had four quota places on offer, after experienced Manavjit Singh Sandhu faltered in the last qualifying round. Chenai had shot 47/50 on Wednesday and 73/75 this day to make it to the top six.

Kuwait’s Abdulrahman Al Faihan, competing as Independent Shooting Participant following the suspension of his federation, claimed the gold. His compatriot Talal Alrashidi  won the bronze and Chinese Taipei’s Yang Kun-Pi the silver.

Chenai, who finished fourth, steadied himself after a wobbly start to find himself in a four-way shoot-off in the company of Al Faihan, Yang and Alrashidi. It was enough to get him the quota place and he celebrated by punching the air. However, both Alrashidi and Chenai missed their third tie-breaker target to go into a bronze medal match, allowing Al Faihan and Yang to shoot for the gold medal.

Alrashidi bested Chenai with 14 hits against the Indian’s 13 while Al Faihan nailed 14 out of 15 targets to prevail over Yang’s 13 hits to finish on the top of the table. The remaining three quota places went to Faihan, Yang and Kazakhstan’s Andrey Mogilevskiy, who finished fifth.

Kynan credited Manavjit for his success. The veteran was the first to rush in with his congratulations.  “He is someone who has advised me a lot in my career. He is the best we have. The pressure at home is always there but winning the quota has taken away the regret to miss out on bronze,” said Chenai.

Vijay fell flat in the final of the rapid fire pistol after topping the qualifying round. The event had two quota places up for grabs and both were taken by Japan after their shooters Teruyoshi Akiyama and Eita Mori finished first and third while South Korea’s Choi Yong Hoo clinched the silver.

Vijay had to settle for a fifth place.

Bindra honoured
Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra was on Thursday awarded the Diploma of Honour and President's Button by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) as an acknowledgment to his "contribution as an athlete" to the sport.