India’s bad luck at the shooting ranges continue as youngsters Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary could not progress to the medal round of the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event at 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.
The 19-year-olds finished 7th in Qualification stage 2 after topping the first phase with 582 points, living up to their billing of being among the favourites for the event. Saurabh was on fire, shooting 98, 100 and 98 in his 3 series in the Qualification Stage 1 while Manu did just enough to keep them at the top spot.
India's string of poor performances at the shooting range has seen them go without a medal in six events they have competed in so far.
Chaudhary and Manu, who were strong favourites after winning all four mixed team gold medals in the four World Cups in 2019, suffered due to a poor start in the eight-team field and finished with a total score of 380 (Chaudhary 194/200 and Manu 186/200). They needed to be in the top four to qualify for any of the two medal matches.
Earlier in the Qualification Stage 1, Chaudhary and Manu had given indication that they were gunning for the top prize when they topped the 20-team field with a total score of 582/600 (Manu 286/300 and Chaudhary 296/300).
Abhishek Verma (283/300) and Yasahaswini Singh Deswal's (281/300) combined score of 564, however, was not good enough as the pair finished 17th.
Chaudhary and Manu started the Qualification Stage 1 in sensational fashion, combining to score 195/200 (Chaudhary 98/100 and Manu 97/100) in the first series to move to the top right away.
In the second series, the duo consolidated their position with Chaudhary shooting a perfect 100 with his 10 shots while Manu turned up with a 94. They came up with imposing numbers in the third series as well, combining for 193 (Chaudhary 98 and Manu 95) to move into Qualification Stage 2.
The mixed team air pistol event comprises a Qualification Stage 1 and a Qualification Stage 2, which is followed by the medal round where the top two teams contest for gold, while the third and fourth placed teams fight for bronze.
In Qualification Stage 1, each team member shoots three series of 10 shots (30 shots, 300 points maximum per team member). The scores of both team members are added up and the ranking made. The eight top-ranked teams then progress to Qualification Stage 2 but the scores are not carried forwards and all teams start from scratch again.
In Qualification Stage 2, the eight pairs shoot two series of 10 shots by each team member (20 shots, 200 points maximum per team member) following which the top four teams go into the medal rounds, where the top-two fight for gold and the third and fourth-placed teams compete for bronze.
China’s Jiang Ranxin and Pang Wei finished top with 387, ROC’s Vitalina Batsarashkina and Artem Chernousov second with 386. The two teams will meet in the Gold medal match.
Ukraine’s Olena Kostevych and Oleh Omelchuk, third place with 386 but lesser inner 10s than the ROC team, will compete against the Serbian team of Zorana Arunovic and Damir Mikec, who finished fourth with 384, for the Bronze.
(With inputs from IANS)
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