Asab endures mixed luck

India’s Moham­med Asab won the bronze medal in men’s double trap but the joy was diluted with the regret of missing out on a quota place for the Rio Games at the Asia Olympic qualifying shooting competition at Dr Karni Singh Range here on Saturday.

Indian shooters couldn’t add to their existing 11 quota places despite putting up a superb fare in the qualification stage of the men’s double trap, where Asab and Ankur Mittal captured the first two places. Earlier in the day, talented Akhil Sheoran lost his way after a good start to settle for fourth position in men’s 10m air rifle.

Asab and Mittal had raised hopes by qualifying for the six-man semifinals with scores of 142 and 141. Against a quality field where all six participants were eligible for the two quota places on offer, Asab fought well while Mittal could never really recover from an erratic start. Mittal was eliminated after the semifinal where he found 25 targets.

Asab, later, missed out on the gold medal match and a quota place. UAE’s Khaled Alkaabi shot 28 and Kuwait’s Fehaid Aldeehani 27 to reach the gold medal match-up besides securing tickets for Rio Games.

In the bronze medal match, Asab shot with greater accuracy to rack up 26 hits and defeated Korea’s Hyun Woo Shin, who scored 24, to clinch the medal. Both had concluded the semifinals with 26 targets each.

The gold was won by Alkaabi who nailed the best scores with 28 hits while Aldeehani fell short with 27 to settle for a silver medal.

In the afternoon, Japan ran away with its fourth gold medal and third Olympic quota from the tournament. Their 10m air rifle men shooter Naoya Okada finished first after blazing away with a stupendous series of shots in the last segment. Okada was challenged by Kazakh shooter Yuriy Yurkov in the final round but the Japanese took the lead after the sixth series and broke away with a healthy lead to claim the gold medal with 208.1 points. Yurkov scored 206.3 points for silver and was the only participant in the eighth-man final who was not eligible for the quota place.  He had collected one during the last year’s World Cup.

The two available slots thus went to Okada and bronze medallist Pourya Norouziyan of Iran, who finished with 184.2 points.  In fact, Sheoran was ahead of Norouziyan and in contention for bronze till the 13th shot out of 20 but he scored a combination of 10.6+9.9 and 10.2+ 9.8 in the final stage to undo his good work. He bowed out with 163.0 points. India already have a quota place in the event through Abhinav Bindra.

In the women’s 25m Pistol event qualification on this day, Annu Raj Singh was fourth with the score of 289 while Anisa Sayyed (288) and Rahi Sarnobat (285) were 13th and 21st
DH News Service

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