Asian Games: Shooters fire a blank on fifth day

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 at the Ongnyeon pistol and rifle range here Wednesday.

Asian Games: Shooters fire a blank on fifth day

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 at the Ongnyeon pistol and rifle range here 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 -- missing two between 51 and 55 and three more over the last series of five shots and his tally of 578 got him the seventh spot -- one rung outside the top six who qualified for the finals. His sequence of scores read 98, 99, 93, 98, 97 and 93.

Harpreet's teammates Gurpreet Singh and Pemba Tamang performed poorly to end up 12th and 20th with respective overall tallies of 570 and 556. Gurpreet's sequence was 97, 98, 89, 98, 97 and 91 while Tamang fired 99, 93, 85, 91, 94 and 94.

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.

As a result, the Indian women finished outside the medal bracket in the 50m rifle prone team event too, ending up 11th out of 13 countries with an aggregate of 1837.1.

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

Raj, who was shooting well till the 40th shot in the 60-shot prone finals, took a break and then had a horrid sequence over the next 10 shots during which she secured three 9-plus scores, including the lowest of 9.5, that pegged her back.

After a string of 9-plus scores between the 13th and 15th shots, she took a long break and then shot consistently in the 10s till the 30th shot. She had a high of 10.7 and a low of 9.9 and tallied 103.4 in the 10-shot sequence from 31st to 40.

However, another break upset her rhythm and her form dipped and she finished way behind.

Later, she blamed shifting winds at the range for missing her mark.

"The wind was changing. I had adjusted my weapon to counter these changes but I lost my rhythm," said the Mathura-born Mhow-based army major.

Her scores were 104.4, 101.6, 102.4, 103.4, 10.4 and 102.4.

Lajja's sequence of scores were 100.2, 103.0, 104.2, 102.5, 102.3 and 101.5 while Tejaswini was the worst of the lot as she fired 102.8, 99.3, 103.4, 101.3, 103.1 and 98.7.

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