Asiad: Skeet shooters falter

India makes big gains to finish third in medals tally

Indian shooter Angad Vir Singh Bajwa competes for qualification in the Skeet Men event at the 18th Asian Games Jakarta Palembang 2018, in Indonesia on Sunday, Aug 26, 2018. (PTI Photo)

India's shooting campaign at the Asian Games ended on a disappointing note after four skeet participants failed to qualify for the finals in Palembang on Sunday.

Sheeraz Sheikh and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa finished 13th and 14th respectively on day two of the qualification, failing to make the finals with scores of 120 and 119.

Mansour Alrashidi of Kuwait clinched the gold, edging out Di Jin of China 4-3 in a shoot-off after they both shot 52 in the finals to set a new Games Record. The bronze went to Saif Almansoori, also from Kuwait.

In women's skeet, Ganemat Shekhon and Rashmi Rathore finished 10th and 12th respectively. They shot 112 and 111, which was not good enough for a top-6 spot in the finals. The gold went to Thailand's Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit, Meng Wei of China took the silver and Kim Minji of South Korea bronze.

India had won two silver medals in other shotgun events, trap and double trap, through teenagers Lakshay Sheoran and Shardul Vihan.

"The shotgun team's performance has been quite consistent at the Games. Skeet event was a bit disappointing. We had three juniors representing in all three events – trap, double trap and skeet – and two of them won medals. The future is bright but we need to groom them well," India shotgun coach and team leader Mansher Singh told PTI.

The last two days of the competition were medal-less but India did well overall, winning nine medals including two gold to finish third in the standings. China topped the tally with eight gold (15 total) and South Korea was second three (12).

Compared to the previous Asian Games, there was a significant improvement from India's point of view despite the lack of team events. India had finished eighth in the overall shooting tally four years ago with nine medals including a gold from Jitu Rai.

The highlights of the campaign were gold medal performances from 16-year-old pistol shooter Saurabh Chaudhary and the seasoned Rahi Sarnobat. Medals were expected from CWG gold medallists Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala but they could not deliver this time.

The Indian shooters get no rest after a gruelling Games and most of them have already reached Changwon, South Korea for the World Championships beginning August 31. The skeet batch will be leaving tomorrow.

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