Indian shooters fire blank

The shooting squad, which had accounted for the bulk of medal, return empty handed on Day Five

Incheon

After scooping six medals, including a gold won by Jitu Rai, on the first four days of the Asian Games, Indian shooters drew a blank on the fifth day of the competitions on Wednesday.

India had chances of winning four medals from the 25m rapid fire pistol event for men and the 50m rifle prone for women but could not get even one on a disappointing day for the shooters.

Indian men’s 25m rapid fire pistol team narrowly missed out on a bronze as they finished fourth after ending up with same points as Vietnam with a tally of 1704. The bronze was decided on ‘innner 10’ count and Vietnam bagged the medal as they had 41 hits at the innermost ring as against 39 by the Indians.

India’s chances of a medal in the individual event rested on Harpreet Singh but he even failed to qualify for the final round as he finished seventh. Harpreet started off promisingly to have a score of 197 out of 200 in his first 20 shots but could not sustain the momentum in the next 10 where he missed seven marks, including three in the last five, to end up with 290 out of 300.

He still had a chance to make a grand rally and did it over the next 20 shots in which he missed only five shots combined.

But nerves overcame him and he was way off target in the last 10.

Harpreet’s teammates Gurpreet Singh and Pemba Tamang performed poorly to end up 12th and 20th with respective overall tallies of 570 and 556.

The Indian women were even more off the mark with army major Raj Chaudhary, the main hope, starting well in the women’s 50m rifle prone individual event before tapering off to finish 22nd out of 43 shooters with an aggregate score of 614.6. Teammates Lasjja Gausswami (25th; 613.7 points) and Tejaswini Muley (36th; 608.8 points) were totally out of depth.

Main prone rifle shooting hope Raj Chaudhary also began her event very promisingly before pressure got over to her.—PTI

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