Indians disappoint again

India were once again left empty-handed after three of their shooters made it to the finals on Monday but couldn’t fire their way to medals or precious Rio Games tickets in the Asia Olympic qualifying shooting competition at the Dr. Karni Singh Range.

Omkar Singh qualified for his second final in the competition, this time men’s 10m air pistol, but fizzled out to finish seventh. Later in the day, Saniya Sheikh and Arti Singh Rao made it to the final of the women’s skeet but the two struggled in consistency to also bow out of the contention.

Saniya, a multiple-time national champion, did well to qualify for a bronze medal match against South Korean Kim Minji, beating Arti and South Korea’s Yu Hyun Kwak in a three-way tie-break. She, however, couldn’t keep up against the strong showing of Minji, making 11 hits to Korean’s 14, to finish fourth.

“I am very disheartened because we were going for the gold, both Arti and I have been shooting 14 regularly in training”, said the 23-year-old.

The gold was won by Japan’s Naoko Ishihara and also the only quota place available. Ishihara marked the best semifinal score with 14 hits for a direct entry to the gold medal match. Thailand’s Nutchaya Sutarporn beat Minji to square up against Ishihara.
The Japanese shooter comfortably prevailed over Sutarporn, who made a rash of errors, to clinch the first place with the final score of 13 hits to 9.

In the men’s 10m air pistol finals, Omkar did well in the qualifications to finish in the fifth place with a score of 577. Three of the eight shooters in the final were not eligible for quota. However, the Navy marksman produced a disappointing fare in the 20-shot final for early elimination. A 7.9 in the 8th shot all but ended his march and he was on his way out after the 10th shot with a total score of 94.6.

“I definitely need to analyse my performance in the final. I have been scoring well in the qualification rounds but I haven’t been able to do as well in the finals. I still like to take my time when I should be looking to get a good start,” Omkar said.

The two available quotas in the event went to gold medallist from Malaysia Guanjie Wong (198.7) and silver medallist from Saudi Arabia Atallah Alanazi (198.3). Jong Su Kim of North Korea (176.3) won the bronze medal. The concluding day of the competition on Tuesday has seven quota places on offer through men’s skeet and men’s 50M Rifle 3 Positions event.

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