Indian shooters falter in finals; Malaysia, Saudi Arabia grab quotas

01 February 2016, 06:23 PM

Indian shooters continued to stumble in the finals on the sixth and penultimate day of the Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition as Malaysia and Saudi Arabia bag their first quota each in shooting for the upcoming Rio Games, today.

Besides Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, the third available quota of the day was won by Japan, their fifth gold medal in the ongoing competition at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range.

It turned out to be another day of near misses for Indians, cleared the qualifiers again but could not go beyond that. Navy’s Omkar Singh, in the men’s 10m air pistol, Arti Singh Rao and Sania Sheikh in women’s skeet, made it to their respective finals but failed to win a quota or a medal for the country that has so far assured itself of 11 quotas in shooting for Rio Olympics.

The best performance of the day for India came in the women’s skeet where youngster Sania Sheikh finished fourth after losing out to Korea’s Kim Minji 11-14 in the bronze medal match.

“I am disheartened because we were going for the gold and both Arti and myself have been shooting 14 regularly in training,” Sania said after the event, referring to the 10 both Arti and herself shot in the semi-final round.

She eventually won a shoot-off which also had Arti in it, to qualify for the bronze medal match where Kim pipped her.

The gold and the only available Rio quota in the event was won by Japan’s Naoko Ishihara who defeated Thailand’s Nutchaya Sutarporn 13-9 in the match for the yellow metal.

In the men’s 10m air pistol finals, Omkar qualified in fifth place with a score of 577. Three of the eight shooters in the final could not claim quotas as either their country had exhausted their maximum limit of two quotas per event per country or the athletes themselves had won Olympic quotas for their countries in earlier competitions.

Omkar started off well with a score of 10.3 in the 20-shot final, but a disappointing 7.9 in the 8th shot meant that he got eliminated after the 10th shot, taking 7th position.

The two available quotas in the event went to the gold medallist from Malaysia Guanjie Wong and silver winner from Saudi Arabia Atallah Alanazi. Kim Jong Su of North Korea won the bronze.

There will be seven quota places still up for grabs on the concluding day of the competition tomorrow which will see the finals of men’s skeet and men’s 50m rifle 3 positions event. Sanjeev Rajput in rifle and Man Singh in skeet will lead the Indian challenge.