Poor day for Indian shooters at Olympic qualifiers

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Indian shooters missed out an Olympic quota for the second successive day with Elizabeth Susan Koshy finishing fourth in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event in the Asian qualifiers being held at the Karni Singh Shooting Range here on Sunday.

Star shooter Jasmine Xer of Singapore struck gold and the Olympic quota she had been chasing on the fifth day of the Asian Shooting Qualifiers. Iran’s Mahlagha Jambozorg took silver and Kyerim Lee of South Korea got the bronze, to also claim the other two quotas available in the event.

Jasmine gave early indications of her determination to claim an Olympic quota when she topped the qualifying stage with a score of 586 to enter the finals. Throughout the 45 shot final round split between the three positions of Kneeling, Prone and Standing, Jasmine remained inside the top two positions, except briefly after the end of the Prone series, when she slipped to fourth.

Kyerim Lee was giving her company at the top, displaying amazing consistency, while Mahlagha and Elizabeth seemed to be in a tough fight for the bronze. But after the first five shots of the Standing round, Jasmine had cemented her place at the top and following a disastrous 47.1 by Elizabeth, the Iranian and Korean shooters had pulled away from the rest of the field to fight for the silver and bronze positions.

Elizabeth finally got eliminated in the fourth position after the 43rd shot. She hit a 7.9 in her 33rd shot while standing and could never really recover from that after a bright first 30 shots in the finals.

In the women’s 25m Pistol event, none of the three Indians could qualify for the eight woman final after Rahi Sarnobat finished 12th with a score of 575, Anisa Sayyed 17th (572) and Annu Raj Singh 21st (570) after two rounds of qualifying.

South Korea swept the medals in this event with Koh Eun winning gold, Munjung Kim the silver and Ji Hye Kim the bronze. The three Olympic quotas in the event were won by the Koreans (who could claim only one quota as they had already bagged one earlier), Japan’s Akiko Sato who finished fourth and fifth placed Shun Xie Teo of Singapore.

With two days to go, there are still four events and 10 quota places up for grabs in the competition. Monday will see the finals of the men’s 10m Air Pistol and women’s Skeet events.

Indian interests in the men’s event lie with Omkar Singh, Aman Pathania and Jitendra Vibhute while Saniya Sheikh, Arti Singh Rao and Rashmee Rathore will lead the hosts’ challenge in women’s Skeet. The men’s Air Pistol has two Rio quota places available while the women’s Skeet has only one.

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