Day 4 of the ISSF World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan turned out to be a delightful day for the Indian shooting contingent as pistol marksman Prakash Nanjappa secured India’s sixth Rio Olympic quota place in this sport. The 39-year-old finished eighth in the final of the Men’s 50m Pistol event which, in turn, gave him the much-coveted quota.
Prakash Nanjappa was second in the qualifying rounds
2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Prakash Nanjappa had a thunderous performance in the qualification rounds of the Men’s 50m Pistol event where he stood second with a total of 567. Jitu Rai, who has been India’s most consistent shooter for more than a year now, too qualified for the final in eighth place. He registered a total of 562.
In the final, however, Nanjappa lost a bit of his rhythm and consistency. A 7.4 in the first competition stage and a 7.5 in the elimination stage washed away all his hopes of bagging a medal. The Bangalore-based Prakash had to be content with only the eighth-place finish after totalling 70.1.
Jitu Rai, meanwhile, made a marked improvement in the final as he finished fourth and just outside the medal bracket. A few scores of 8 and a 7.3 were responsible for him not finishing in the top 3. Jitu mustered a total of 150.1.
The third Indian in this category – Omkar Singh – ended the competition in the 38th place. His total was 549.
Pistol shooter Jitu Rai was the first Indian to bag a Rio Olympic quota in shooting. He was followed by rifle specialists Apurvi Chandela, Gagan Narang, Abhinav Bindra and then pistol shooter Gurpreet Singh too joined them.
Heartbreak for Mohamed Asab
It was a case of so-near-yet-so-far for the 27-year-old Commonwealth Games bronze medal winner Mohammed Asab in Men’s Double Trap. Asab proceeded to the semi-finals of this event and was involved in a shoot-off with four other shooters each of whom scored 29 and was vying for a place in the medal rounds. The Indian finished fifth while the other Olympic quota contenders – Steven Scott of Great Britain and Michael Goldbrunnner of Germany – advanced to the medal rounds and clinched the two quotas available.
Earlier, Ankur Mittal squandered a huge lead only to end up with just the 17th place in the qualifications. With scores of 30, 30 and 29 in his first three rounds, the Indian looked well-set to grab a berth in the knock-out stage. But he came up with two scores of 25 in his last two rounds to finish with a total of 139.
Sangram Dahiya – the third Indian shooter in this event – eventually ended up grabbing a better position than Ankur. Dahiya was placed 14th with 139 points.
Women pistol shooters disappoint
The Indian women shooters competing in the 25m Pistol event, unfortunately, came a cropper. Anisa Sayyed was the best of the trio at 39th and she managed 573 points (Precision – 285, Rapid – 288). Next best was Annu Raj Singh who was placed right after Sayyed at 40th. Her score was also 573 (Precision – 288, Rapid – 285). Rahi Sarnobat, meanwhile, was placed way down the rankings at 71st. She totalled 561 (Precision – 284, Rapid – 277).
Elimination Stage results from Men’s 50m Rifle Prone
The Elimination Stage of the Men’s 50m Rifle Prone was also held on Tuesday. Surendra Sinh Rathod topped his elimination relay with 622.8 points while Gagan Narang was fourth in his respective relay with 624.3 points. Chain Singh, however, was slightly off and managed just 619.1 points in his relay to be 11th.
The Men’s 50m Rifle Prone event will continue on Wednesday.
Tune into Sports Rediscovered for more updates from the ISSF World Cup in Gabala