Ace Double Trap shooter Mohammad Asab finished on the podium but failed to capture the coveted Olympic quota place as Indian shooters endured a relatively disappointing fourth day of the Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition for Shooting in New Delhi.
The 28-year-old Asab shot 26 out of 30 in the men’s double trap semifinal and missed the chance to get the Olympic quota and fight for the gold by one point.
After the confident qualification phase when he topped with 142 out of 150, one point ahead of compatriot Ankur Mittal, who ended up fifth, it was a heart-breaker for Asab.
The fourth day of the competition proved to be a day of near misses for the Indian shooters.
Quota hopeful Asab had to settle for a bronze medal in the event thereby missing out on a Rio Olympics berth.
Fehaid Aldeehani of Kuwait, competing as an independent participant as Kuwait has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee, took the quota with the silver medal behind Khaled Alkaabi of the UAE.
A two-time Olympic medallist, Aldeehani had won the Asian Championship back home in Kuwait, but the Olympic qualification status of the event had been revoked by the IOC.
In the semi-finals, Ankur started off on a wrong note but Asab looked on course to qualify for the gold medal match-up and bag one of the two quotas available. But a protest, which got rejected, and one inexplicable double miss meant that he missed out on the gold medal match and quota by one point ending with a score of 26.
UAE’s Khaled Alkaabi shot 28 and Fehaid shot 27 to enter the gold medal match-up and claim the two Rio quotas available. In the bronze medal match Asab, who suffered a shoulder injury just before the competition that resulted him in not training for five days, found his bearings and defeated South Korea’s Hyun Woo Shin 26 to 24 to claim the bronze.
“I tried my best and I am very disappointed. I took a pain killer in the morning for my shoulder injury and the effects were starting to wear off. Due to my injury I could not train properly for the finals here and it could have affected the final result today,” said a dejected Asab after the medal ceremony.
In the Men’s 10m Air Rifle where India already have a quota through Abhinav Bindra, Akhil Sheoran, competing in his first big event as a senior, produced a creditable performance shooting a score of 620.1 to qualify for the finals.
In the finals, all except Kazakhstan’s Yuriy Yurkov were eligible for the two available quotas in the event.
Akhil was in contention for a bronze and a quota till the 13th shot out of 20 before Iran’s Pourya Norouziyan pipped him on the 14th shot and held on. Akhil thus got eliminated in fourth position finishing a final round with a score of 163.
The gold in the event was claimed by Naoya Okada of Japan while Yurkov won the silver. Iran claimed the bronze. The two Rio quotas went to Japan and Iran.
Men’s 10m Air Rifle: 1. Naoya Okada (JPN) 208.1 (620.8); 2. Yuriy Yurkv (KAZ) 206.3 (620.6); 3. Pourya Norouziyan (IRI) 184.2 (621.8); 4. Akhil Sheoran 163.0 (620.1); 11. Prashant Tanwar 619.4; 21. Satyendra Singh 617.1. MQS: Chain Singh 626.4; Gagan Narang 624.4.
Double Trap: 1. Khaled Alkaabi (UAE) 26 (28) 138; 2. Fehaid Aldeehani (ISP) 25 (27) 140; 3. Mohd Asab 26 (26) 142; 4. Shin Hyun Woo (Kor) 24 (26) 137; 5. Ankur Mittal 25 (41); 16. Ronjan Sodhi 126. MQS: Yoginderpal Singh 139; Sangram Dahiya 136.