Indians waver

R.S. Rathore congratulates Ajay Mittal, who won the junior double trap gold.-

The shooters from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates dominated the meet. By Kamesh Srinivasan.

Sometimes, it does not hurt to lose. Defeat, at times, helps to set better goals and ensure that they are achieved. That was the case with the Indian team, which has been grappling with shortage of ammunition. Some of its best shooters who have qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics could just about strike a bronze medal between them at the Asian Clay Shooting Championship at the picturesque Jagatpura Range in Jaipur.

Whether it was the Olympic silver medallist, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, or world champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu, India’s frontline marksmen were below their best. It was understandable as they were busy with their training and had not planned to peak performances so early in the season.

In fact, Rathore literally seemed to be holding back fire as he missed the last shots in his first two rounds in double trap. He eventually missed the final by two points.

Similarly, Manavjit, who is undergoing strenuous training in Italy with coach Marcello Dradi who was on hand to take stock of the situation, was unable to strike with usual felicity.

Another Indian shooter who has qualified for the Olympics, the seasoned Mansher Singh, just managed to grab the bronze after having made the final only a point behind the eventual gold medal winner Abdulrahman Al Faihan of Kuwait.

“We have been dominating this event for so long that it is ok for Kuwait to win. We will be ready for the Olympics,” said coach Dradi even as he underscored his respect for the world class shooters of Kuwait.

Ronjan Sodhi in double trap and Mairaj Ahmad Khan in skeet kept improving with every round, but were unable to make the final.

In comparison, the Indian women had a lot to feel happy about. Shagun Chowdhary won the silver medal in trap in a creditable fashion as she overcame a bout of nerves to beat Yelena Struchayeva of Kazakhstan in the tie-shoot.

Women’s trap silver medallist, Shagun Chowdhary, on the podium.-

“I am thrilled with my first international medal in trap. My gun needs repair. I am grateful to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan (Vasundhara Raje) for helping me get the gun and the cartridges.

“But I hope to get better support from the corporate world, and win more medals in the future,” said Shagun, who had won the double trap bronze in the Asian Championship in 2003.

Another youngster to strike a happy note was Saniya Shaikh, aged 15, though she was disappointed to lose the skeet silver in the tie-shoot. She underlined the fact that with better support she could make rapid strides and win great laurels in the future.

Col. Rathore had a word of praise for the talented Ajay Mittal and the boy proved his mettle by winning the gold medal in junior double trap. He finished a point ahead of Hamoud Al-Sabah of Kuwait.

It was a double for Ajay as he, along with Sangram Singh Dahiya and Chetan Kumar Sansanwal, won the team gold as well.

The Indian junior skeet shooters, Man Singh, Sheeraz Sheikh and Smit Singh also won the gold medal.

However, the shooters from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates stole the show with their brilliant performances in a meet that had been dominated by the Indian marksmen in the last few years.

THE RESULTS

TRAP — Men: 1. Abdulrahman Al Faihan (Kuwait) 144 (121); 2. Nasser Al Muqlid (Kuwait) 141 (117); 3. Mansher Singh (India) 138 (120); 5. Manavjit Sandhu (India) 134 (112); 7. Birendeep Sodhi 111. Team: 1. Kuwait 354, 2. India 343, 3. Chinese Taipei 320. MQS: Anwer Sultan 120, Zoravar Singh 111. Women: 1. Lin Yi Chun (Taipei) 87 (66); 2. Shagun Chowdhary 82 (64) 2; 3. Yelena Struchayeva (Kazakhstan) 82 (66); 7. Seema Tomar 63 (3); 11. Varsha Tomar 60. Team: 1. Kazakhstan 193; 2. India 187; 3. Japan 184. MQS: Bharti Singh 49, Reema Singh 49. Junior men: 1. Sayid Muqlid (Kuwait) 119; 2. Kayan Chenai (India) 109; 3. Oman Aldaihani (Kuwait) 106; 5. T. Rayan Rizvi (India) 102; 7. Anantshivan Pratap Singh (India) 91. Team: 1. Kuwait 263, 2. India 238; 3. Qatar 215. Junior women: 1. Ol Wan Ling (Singapore) 49; 2. Shreyasi Singh (India) 41; 3. Shriya Chowdhary (India) 21.

GRAND PRIX — Men: 1. Abdulrahman Al Faihan 121; 2. Muraro Defilippis (Ita) 120; 3. Sayid Muqlid (Kuwait) 119. Women: 1. Yelena Struchayeva (Kazakhstan) 66; 2. Shagun Chowdhary 64 & Anastassiya Davydova (Kazakhstan) 64.

DOUBLE TRAP — Men: 1. Saif Al Shamsy (UAE) 183 (138); 2. Mashfi Al-Mutairi (Kuwait) 176 (133); 3. Rashed Al-Athba (Qatar) 175 (131); 6. Vikram Bhatnagar (India) 173 (134) 8; 7. Ronjan Sodhi (India) 129; 9. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (India) 129. MQS: Vikram Chopra 127; Mohammed Asab 124. Team: 1. Kuwait 395; 2. Qatar 393; 3. India 392. Women: 1. Mariya Dmitrmenko (Kazakhstan) 81; 2. Noora Al-Ali (Qatar) 80; 3. Anastassiya Davydova (Kazakhstan) 76; 5. Varsha Tomar (India) 74; 6. Seema Tomar (India) 70; 8. Shreyasi Singh (India) 66. Team: 1. Kazakhstan 232; 2. India 210; 3. Qatar 201. Junior men: 1. Ajay Mittal 126; 2. Hamoud Al-Sabah (Kuwait) 125; 3. Masoud Al-Adba (Qatar) 117; 4. Sangram Singh Dahiya (India) 114; 6. Chetan Kumar Sansanwal (India) 98. Team: 1. India 338; 2. Qatar 284.

GRAND PRIX — Men: 1. Saif Al-Shamsy (UAE) 138; 2. Rashed Al-Manee (Kuwait) 136; 3. Vikram Bhatnagar (India) 134; 13. Yadvendra Singh (India) 109; 14. Y. P. Singh (India) 94. Team: 1. Kuwait 395; 2. Italy 375; 3. Iran 352. Women: 1. Mariya Dmitrmenko (Kazakhstan) 81; 2. Anastassiya Davydova (Kazakhstan) 76; 3. Yelena Struchayeva (Kazakhstan) 75; 4. Seema Tomar (India) 70; 5. Bharti Singh (India) 66; 6. Shreyasi Singh (India) 66. Team: 1. Kazakhstan 232; 2. India 205.

SKEET — Men: 1. Rashid Hamad (Qatar) 144 (120) 12; 2. Zaid Almutairi (Kuwait) 144 (119) 11; 3. Mohammed Ahmed (UAE) 144 (119) 3; 7. Mairaj Ahmad Khan (India) 118; 10. Parampal Singh (India) 117; 15. Naveen Jindal (India) 110. MQS: Arozepal Singh 116; Baljit Singh 105. Team: 1. UAE 358; 2. Qatar 353; 3. Kuwait 353; 4. India 345. Women: 1. Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit (Thailand) 91 (69); 2. Ng Swee Theng (Singapore) 82 (64) 2; 3. Saniya Shaikh (India) 82 (62) 1; 7. Rashmee Rathore (India) 57. Team: 1. Thailand 193; 2. Singapore 177. Junior men: 1. Fawaz Alazemi (Kuwait) 114; 2. Man Singh (India) 111; 3. Sheeraz Sheikh (India) 106; 7. Smit Singh (India) 98. Team: 1. India 315; 2. Qatar 297; 3. Bangladesh 278.

GRAND PRIX — Men: 1. Saeed Almaktoum (UAE) 121; 2. Nasser Al-Attiya (Qatar) 119 (6); 3. Mohammed Ahmed (UAE) 119 (5); 6. Mairaj Ahmad Khan (India) 118; 11. Parampal Singh (India) 117; 17. Naveen Jindal (India) 110. Team: 1. UAE 358; 2. Kuwait 353; 3. Italy 351; 4. India 345. Women: 1. Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit (Thailand) 69; 2. Saniya Shaikh (India) 62.