Teenage prodigy Bhanwala disappoints following CWG high

A gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games, 15-year-old Indian shooter Anish Bhanwala produced a below-par performance to finish without a medal in the men’s 25m rapid fire air pistol event at the Asian Games.

Bhanwala could not repeat Friday’s fine qualification performance on the second day of qualification. (File Photo)   -  AP

A gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games, 15-year-old Indian shooter Anish Bhanwala produced a below-par performance to finish without a medal in the men’s 25m rapid fire air pistol event at the Asian Games, here, on Saturday.

Bhanwala, who had made history by winning a gold at the CWG in Gold Coast, earlier, this year, could not repeat Friday’s fine qualification performance on the second day of qualification, here, on Saturday.

He eventually failed to qualify for the finals, finishing ninth overall with a score of 576. Another Indian in the fray, Shivam Shukla, suffered a washout and ended 11th with 569.

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The top six qualified for the finals where China’s Zhaonan Yao won the gold with a Games Record score of 34. Silver also went to China with Junmin Lin shooting 33 and bronze went to South Korea’s Kim Junhong, who shot 29.

Bhanwala, who is from Karnal, was in third spot after the qualification on Friday. The competition has been a mixed bag for India’s promising teenagers. Saurabh Chaudhary, 16, and Shardul Vihan, 15, brought laurels to the country with their sensational performances, winning gold and silver, respectively.

Manu Bhaker and Bhanwala, however, could not live up to the expectations after the CWG high. Bhaker had competed in three events at the Games.

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“I was under pressure yesterday but not today. I just shot badly. It can happen sometimes. I am disappointed, but need to move on,” Bhanwala said, looking ahead with the World Championships beginning in Changwon on August 31.

“There were expectations but like I said, in shooting it is all about how you perform on the day. I could not do it today and I will try to do better at the Worlds,” added the teenager, who took the failure sportingly.

India has, so far, won nine shooting medals at the Games, including two pistol gold medals from Chaudhary and Rahi Sarnobat.

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The men’s and women’s skeet qualification were also held on Saturday. Ganemot Sekhon and Rashmi Rathore were in ninth and 10th place, respectively.

In men’s skeet, Sheeraz Sheikh and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa were placed 10th and 13th after day one. Another qualification session and the finals will be held on Sunday, the final day of the competition.