Rio Olympics: Indian women shooters produce career's worst performances, crash out

By: Harpal Singh Bedi
Updated: 06 Aug 2016 03:51 PM
Rio de Janeiro: Apurvi Chandela and Ayonika Paul came up with their career’s worst performances as India’s shooting campaign in the Olympic Games here started on a disastrous note.

In the 10 m air rifle event, there were lot of expectations from the 23-year-old Jaipur-based Apurvi, who had finished runners up in last year’s World Cup in Munich, but she caved in under the pressure and finished at miserable 34th with a total of 411.6.


Ayonika Paul also finished at a dismal 47th in the field of 51 shooters with a total of 403.0.

Apurvi had uneven rounds. She did well in the first and third series but lost the advantage by firing below par in the second and fourth series.

She started promisingly collecting 104.2 points in her first series but hit 102.2 in the second. The Indian steadied herself in the 3rd and earned 103.2 but in the last she again slipped for 102.3.

The Jaipur girl ended with an average of 102.90, which was too low for her to make it to the final round.

Ayonika Paul was tentative from the start. The 23-year-old shooter from Mumbai started with 102.0 and improved in the second hitting 104.5. She could not hold her nerves and in the third managed just 102.5. But her fourth series was total disaster as she managed just 95.0 points.

The four round average of 100.75 was her worst and the total of 403.0 saw her finish fourth from the bottom.

It was not a good performance by their standards as the two were expected to set up new records and finish at the podium, but what rankled the Indian fans was the way they fumbled and crashed out. They have had more than enough international exposure and had enough experience having participated in the World Cup, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ)  head Virean Rasquinha, was very disappointed with the performance of shooters. “This is their worst showing since they started shooting at the International level,” he said.

OGQ  has supported these shooters in their preparations for the Olympics. “Well, I was expecting better showing from them. We had hopes from Apurvi,” he said adding, “I think these shooters could not handle the aura and pressure of the Olympics.”

Rasquniha was surprised by Ayonika’s last series of 94.0. “It is too low a score. There might have been malfunction in the weapon. I am not sure but I am offering no excuses.”

China’s Li Du topped the qualifying round with a score of 420.7, setting a new Olympic record at the event.

Germany’s Barbara Engleder took the second spot with 420.3 while Iran’s Elaheh Ahmadi was third with 417.8

Apart from the top three, a Russian, two Americans, a Croatian and another Chinese shooter completed the top eight line-up.

USA’s Thrasher wins gold

Later, American shooter Virginia Thrasher won the gold medal in the women’s 10-meter air rifle to become the first gold medalist of the Rio Olympics.

Thrasher shot 10.5 on her first shot of the final elimination round and smiled after 10.4 on her second shot put her comfortably ahead of China’s Li Du. Thrasher had a cumulative score of 208.0 to beat Du, a two-time gold medalist, by a point. China’s Siling Yu earned the bronze.

The 19-year Thrasher became the first freshman to win both individual NCAA rifle titles and helped West Virginia win the team title. She followed that by winning the U.S. Olympic Trials less than a month later, earning a trip to Rio.

American Sarah Scherer made the finals in her return to the Olympics after two back surgeries, but was eliminated in the first round. She finished eighth.

 

 

 

American shooter Virginia Thrasher has won the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics in the women’s 10-meter air rifle.

Thrasher shot 10.5 on her first shot of the final elimination round and smiled after 10.4 on her second shot put her comfortably ahead of China’s Li Du. Thrasher had a cumulative score of 208.0 to beat Du, a two-time gold medalist, by a point. China’s Siling Yu earned the bronze.

The 19-year Thrasher became the first freshman to win both individual NCAA rifle titles and helped West Virginia win the team title. She followed that by winning the U.S. Olympic Trials less than a month later, earning a trip to Rio.

American Sarah Scherer made the finals in her return to the Olympics after two back surgeries, but was eliminated in the first round. She finished eighth.

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