In sport, the margin between glory and disappointment is often wafer thin, and India’s Adarsh Singh sampled it at the ISSF World Championship in Baku on Tuesday.
As a gold medallist in the junior ranks at the last two editions of the World Championship at Cairo and Lima, Adarsh, 21, could well have struck a medal in his first senior appearance at World Championship, but that was not to be.
Adarsh Singh shot 583 (295+288) in qualification to tie with Estonia’s Peeter Olesk, who also shot an identical 583 (295+288), but the latter won the Olympic quota as he finished one spot ahead of Adarsh on the basis of more inner 10s. Peeter had 16 compared to Adarsh’s 15.
Among the other Indians in the fray, Vijayveer Sidhu shot 577 to finish 25th while Anish shot 575 to finish 32nd.
Qualification was dominated by China’s Xinjie Wang, who finished atop with 588 and led the six-man field making the final.
As it goes, every stage is a new start, and China’s Li Yuehong, two shots behind Wang in qualification, proved that by grabbing gold and quota in an overwhelming manner with a world record of 39.
Li’s performance was an example of an athlete’s desire to keep stepping up. With 34 points at the end of the 7th round, Li had the gold and quota in his pocket. He could have played it safe, but on his radar was the world record of 38. For that, he needed a perfect 5 on his last round, and he did just that to set the world mark.
Among the 8 rounds of 5 shots each, Li, bronze medallist at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2021 Olympics, missed only once in the 5th round.
The silver and bronze went to Rio Olympian Clement Bessaguet of France with 30 (586) and Florian Peter of Germany with 24 (585).
Japan’s Dai Yoshioka (4th), with 19 (584), and Ukraine’s Denys Kushnirov (6th), with 13 (583), took the other two available quotas. Kushnirov finished last in the six-man field after being eliminated in a shoot-off.
India is still third on the medal tally with four gold and three bronze, behind powerhouses China (10 gold, 6 silver, 4 bronze) and USA (4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze).