Day 2, Tokyo: All 4 Indian Shooters in Medal Events Get Eliminated in Qualifiers
Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Singh Deswal are the top two ranked shooters in their category.
Women's 10m air pistol event's world number one and two Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Manu Bhaker both failed to qualify for the final as India marked another poor outing in shooting on Day 3 of the Tokyo Olympics.
10m air rifle shooters Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar were the other two Indians competing in medal events on Sunday but they too could not make the cut for the final.
Women's 10m Air Pistol
Medal favourites Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Singh Deswal finished 12th and 13th in the qualification round early on Sunday but there was heartbreak for Manu as a gun malfunction in the second series derailed her effort and saw her scores go down.
While the 19-year-old Manu had a qualification score of 575/600, the 24-year-old Yashaswini scored 574.
The Jhajjar-born Manu looked in great touch in the first series, shooting a superb 98, but a weapon malfunction in the second series -- which cost her five minutes - broke her rhythm and she had a poor second series of 95. Desperately trying to make up for lost time, Manu shot a 94 in the third series, which saw her slump to ninth position after the third series from the high of a third place after the first series.
The third consecutive poor series (95 in the fourth series) pushed her further down, but the Youth Olympic Games and Commonwealth champion, made a desperate attempt to claw back in the fifth series with a 98, embellished with eight perfect 10s.
The Indian was on the brink of qualification in ninth spot in the sixth and final series, and another score of 10 on the last shot could have pitchforked her into the finals comprising of top-eight shooters, but pressure got to her and she had a rank bad final shot of 8, which cost her a place among the top-8 in her maiden Olympic appearance.
Elaborating on the incident of Manu's gun malfunction, Pistol coach Ronak Pandit said, “The cocking lever of the weapon broke after 16 shots. We had to get it changed. She had 44 shots remaining in 56mins and then when we started it was 44 shots in 38mins. To change the lever, the grip and the trigger circuit has to be removed. They were put back but then the circuit would not work so we had to change that again. She was placed fourth when all this happened and by the time she resumed, others were in their fourth series while she was still on her second. No extra time is allowed according to the rules and the pressure at the end was too much. We are proud of the way she shot today.”
Yashaswini Deswal, also making her Olympic debut, showed glimpses of brilliance but was largely inconsistent, starting with a patchy 94 with only four 10s in the first series. But her recovery was quick in the second series of 10 shots as she scored 98 with the help of seven consecutive 10s.
But inconsistencies continued to plague her all through the qualification, having another poor series of 94, with two rank bad shots of eight.
The Delhi-born girl took the lead over Manu Bhaker briefly during the fifth series but she could not continue the good run and was eliminated in the qualifier.
Men's 10m Air Rifle
Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar were the two Indians in competition in the men's 10m air rifle qualifier on Sunday but they too could not record the top eight scores to qualify for the final.
Divyansh is ranked sixth in the world having won a World Cup bronze in New Delhi earlier this year. However the 18-year-old could not match his competitors' scores on Sunday as he finished at the 32nd position with a tally of 622.8.
The 18-year-old shot a nervy 102.7 in the first series, ending with a low 9.7. He improved to 103.7 in the second series. Panwar's struggle continued in the third series and at the start he shot 9.9, 9.7 and 9.9 but recovered to shoot 103.6. Panwar managed to get 104.6 in both fourth and fifth series before shooting 103.6 in the final series.
Haoran Yang of China qualified in the top spot with a score of 632.7 while eighth placed 16-year-old Chinese Lihao Sheng was the last shooter to make the cut with a score of 629.2.
Deepak Kumar was the second Indian in the qualification round and he finished at the 26th position with a score of 624.7.
Divyansh will be seen in competition on 27 July in the mixed team event.
At just 17 years of age, he had become the world's top-ranked rifle shooter on the back of three mixed team and an individual gold and silver during the 2019 World Cups.
Son of a senior nursing staff at the Sawai Man Singh Medical College in Jaipur, Panwar was the fourth marksman from the country to clinch the Olympic quota after rifle shooters Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela, and pistol sensation Saurabh Chaudhary, when he won silver at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Beijing.
(With inputs from IANS)
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