Rio de Janeiro:
There was no end to the Indian shooters’ Olympic Games misery as 2012 edition’s bronze medal winner Gagan Narang and Chain Singh failed to qualify for the 50m Rifle Prone event here today.
While Narang, who won the London Games bronze in 10m Air Rifle, signed off 13th with a total score of 623.1, Singh was way down at 36th with a score of 619.6 in the qualification round.
It was particularly disappointing for Narang, who was placed as high as 4th at one stage. However, he bungled the advantage by shooting his poorest in the final sixth and final series, which yielded him his lowest score of 102.4.
Narang’s series break-up stood at 104.7, 104.4, 104.6, 103.0, 104.0. Singh, on the other hand, never seemed to be in the reckoning after losing the plot in his second and fourth series, which fetched him scores of 101 and 102.4.
His subsequent efforts at salvaging the situation could not save him from a free-fall on the leaderboard. Singh shot a series of 104.1, 101.0, 104.4, 102.4, 103.9.
Russia’s Sergey Kamenskiy topped the qualification round with a new Olympic record score of 629, followed by compatriot Kirill Grigoryan (628.9). South Korean Kim Jhongyun came third in the qualifiers from where the top-8 made the cut for the finals.
Narang and Singh will still have a shot at redemption on Sunday, the final day of shooting, when they take aim in the 50m Rifle 3 Position event.
Touted as the brightest medal hopes for the country, the shooters have been way off the mark at the mega-event.
Beijing Games gold-medalist Abhinav Bindra has so far been the best performer with a fourth-place finish in the 10m.