The last ISSF World Cup of the season got under way at Gabala, Azerbaijan with 34 Rio Olympic quotas up for grabs at this combined rifle/pistol and shotgun event. Indian representation was in the men’s skeet competition, whose qualification rounds went on for two days. At the end of the final qualifications, Mairaj Ahmad Khan was the best Indian performer and managed to secure the 61st position.
Low scores in 2nd and 5th rounds let Mairaj Ahmad Khan down
Former national champion Mairaj Ahmad Khan began flawlessly, shooting a 25 in the first round. But he missed three birds in the second and fifth rounds which prevented him from moving up the rankings. In the third and fourth rounds, he mustered a score of 24. Mairaj’s total was 117.
The other Indian shooters fared no better. Smit Singh registered a score of 116 (24, 22, 24, 23, 23) to be placed 64th. The third Indian shooter in this category – Amrinder Cheema finished 67th with a total score of 116 (21, 24, 25, 24, 22).
Earlier, at the end of the first round of qualifications on Saturday, Mairaj was 60th while Smit and Amrinder were 77th and 79th respectively.
Hancock takes gold
World No. 1 and two-time Olympic gold medallist Vincent Hancock of the United States beat Austria’s Sebastian Kuntschik in a shoot-off (6-5) to collect the gold medal. The bronze went to Italy’s Gabriele Rossetti.