New Delhi: Ace Indian shooter Gagan Narang missed out on a podium finish after reaching his first final of men's air rifle event in a global event since winning the London Olympics bronze medal, at the ISSF World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan on Monday.
Narang is recovering from a neck injury which had been impacting his performance in his pet event for quite some time. He finished fifth.
Having qualified for the 8-man final in 8th position, Narang improved three positions shooting a score of 144.5 in the final rounds.
Cao Yifei of China won the gold with a final round score of 207.4, while Kim Sang Do (206.9) of Korea won the silver and Petar Gorsa (186.5) of Croatia bagged the bronze medal.
Former Olympic champion in the same event, Abhinav Bindra finished 14th in qualifying. Both Bindra and Narang have already secured quota places for Rio 2016 and would not be eligible for any more quotas as a result.
The Indian men's 50m pistol shooting troika of Jitu Rai, Prakash Nanjappa and Omkar Singh, looked in good form in their respective elimination rounds to comfortably make it to the qualification rounds slated for tomorrow. Jitu, another shooter who has already secured his Rio Olympics quota, shot 558 to finish fifth in his round, while both Omkar and Prakash finished third in their elimination rounds shooting scores of 557 and 555 respectively.
In the women's 25m pistol event however, the Indian team of Annu Raj Singh, Anisa Sayyed and Rahi Sarnobat were placed lowly after the precision stage of the event. Annu Raj lay in 20th position with a score of 288, while Anisa was in 49th position with a score of 285. Rahi Sarnobat ended her day in 57th position shooting a score of 284. They move to the rapid fire stage tomorrow.
In the second medal event of the day, the 10m air rifle for women, all three Indian shooters failed to qualify for the 8-woman final. Pooja Ghatkar shot the best score among the three Indians, finishing with 413.8 to stand 30th. Apurvi Chandela ended the day in 45th place, having shot 412.6 in qualifications while Ayonika Paul registered a score of 411.2 to lie 57th.