Jitu, Pooja endure poor day in office

Duo fail to qualify for final in respective events

 India’s expectations took a hit on Thursday after Jitu Rai and Pooja Ghatkar failed to qualify in their respective events in World Cup Final at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.  

Jitu had given India a wonderful start in the competition after he in partnership with Heena Sidhu clinched gold in the 10m air pistol mixed doubles event. He, however, was off colour on Thursday where he finished ninth in the qualifiers of the men’s 10m air pistol event out of 10 participants. Top eight finishers make the cut for the final round.

Jitu shot series of 94, 96, 96, 97, 95, 94 for his 572 points. He missed the final spot by one point to Japan’s 41-year-old Tomoyuki Matsuda (573 points) who went on to win his first World Cup Final by setting a new world record. Matsuda, who had won gold during the World Cup here a few months ago, finished with 241.8 points to beat the world record mark of Germany’s Christian Reitz at the 2017 European Championship in Maribor. He was followed by 19-year-old Ukrainian Pavlo Korostylov (241.1), who ended up equaling the junior world record. The bronze medal went to Oleh Omelchuk (218.8), also of Ukraine.

In the women’s 10m air rifle, Pooja made a shaky start to finish ninth in the qualifying round. She grew better towards the later stages, shooting high scores in tandem for her total of 412.4, but by then it was too late. She was pipped for the final eighth place by Norway’s Malin Westerheim who shot 412.5.

The gold in the event was won by Serbia’s Andrea Arsovic’s who put up a dominant performance. She led from the first series and got 23 successive shots inside the 10th ring to compose a total of 251.3 points. The silver was won by Romania’s Laura Georgeta Coman (249.7) and bronze by China’s  Peng Xinyi (228.5).

In the men’s Skeet, Italy’s Riccardo Filippelli clinched the gold beating Ben Llewellin of Great Britain 4-3 in a shoot-off. Both were tied at 59 out of 60 shots in the final. Argentina’s Federico Gil took the bronze (49).

India will be hoping to break the deadlock on Friday that would witness Jitu and Amanpreet Singh in men’s 50m pistol and double trap trio of World No 1 Ankur Mittal, Shapath Bharadwaj and Sangram Dahiya.

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