Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Shooting Highlights: Saurabh finishes 7th in men's 10m air pistol; Abhishek, Apurvi, Elavenil fail to qualify for final

Tokyo Olympics 2021 Score: Follow the live blog, commentary and highlights from the Summer Games as Indian shooters Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan, Saurabh Chaudhary, and Abhishek Verma take the field on Saturday.

Saurabh Chaudhary

FILE PHOTO: Saurabh Chaudhary of India during the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol on February 24, 2019 in New Delhi.   -  The Hindu

Welcome to the highlights of the shooting events on Day 2 of Tokyo 2020. This was Santadeep Dey taking you through all the action as it unfurled at the Asaka Shooting Range.

YOU ARE VIEWING JULY 24TH'S LIVE BLOG. FOR DAY 3 LIVE ACTION CLICK HERE.

HIGHLIGHTS

MEN'S 10M AIR PISTOL FINAL

1st Place: Foroughi has a 4.2-point lead over Mikec going into the final two shots of the contest and it would need a miracle to deny the Iranian the gold...

GAME. SET. MATCH. FOROUGHI WINS THE GOLD MEDAL WITH AN OLYMPIC RECORD SCORE OF 244.8

2nd Place: Mikec settles for silver with 237.9 points.

3rd Place: Pang (217.6) takes the BRONZE medal with a 9 and 8 off his last two shots.

4th Place: Pavlo gives in to the pressure to register only 8.4 off his last shot. Pang, Mikec and Foroughi are assured of medals.

5th Place:  Reitz walks with 176.6 points.

6th Place: Reitz and Zhang head into a shoot-off. Zhang - 10.0, Reitz - 10.4.

7th Place: Zhang has a 0.3 deficit, walking into the deciding shot.... Saurabh registers 9.6, Zhang 10.2. No second medal for India today.

8th Place: Tied at 107.0 after the first shot, Saurabh manages to stay on with 117.2 points. Mose has been shown the door (115.8).

- 10 shots down, Saurabh has leapfrogged Mose to 7th. He is, however, only 0.3 away from 6th-placed Reitz. Foroughi, is meanwhile, the only shooter to have made three digits (101.0).

- Saurabh gets things rolling with a 10.1. However, he finishes at the bottom of the pile after the initial five shots with a score of 47.7. Foroughi, at the top, has a three-point lead.

- Saurabh starting on Firing Point 'D'. 4 minutes and 10 seconds before we head into elimination.

MEN'S 10M AIR PISTOL QUALIFICATION ROUND

HERE'S THE CONFIRMATION: Besides leader Saurabh, China's Zhang Bowen (586-18x), German Reitz (584-21x), Ukraine's Pavlo Korostylov (581-15x), Foroughi (580-25x), Korea's Kim Mose (579-20x), Chinese Pang Wei (578-22x) and Serbian Mikec (578-21x) have also qualified for the final.

  • Saurabh (Series 6): 586-28x [10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 9, 9, 10]
    Abhishek (Series 6): 575-19x [9, 10, 10, 9, 10, 10, 9, 9, 8, 8]

    SAURABH HAS ALL BUT ENTERED THE MEN'S 10M AIR PISTOL FINAL. We are waiting for Abhishek to get done with his series now.

    Oh, no! Abhishek gives in to added pressure while nibbling on the edges to register two 8s. That sees him finish on the 17th spot.
  • Saurabh (Series 5): 489-25x [10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 9]
    Abhishek (Series 5): 483-16x [10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 10, 9, 10]

    WAIT UP, OUR MAN SAURABH ISN'T DONE YET... FIRST ON THE STANDINGS!!!
    As if to prove he is only human after all, his last two shots of the series go for 9s. Anything less than 10 is seeming like a glitch now.

    Abhishek enters top 8... GET IIIINNNNN!
     
  • Saurabh (Series 4): 391-20x [10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10]
    Abhishek (Series 4): 385-12x [9, 10, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10]

    MONSTROUS! SAURABH IS MAKING THE SPORT LOOK SO SIMPLE. ALL 10s. YES, YOU HEARD ME RIGHT. MOVES TO SECOND SPOT.

    Abhishek, in the meantime, is slowly but steadily finding his feet as well.
  • Saurabh (Series 3): 291-15x [10, 9, 10, 10, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10]
    Abhishek (Series 3): 288-8x [10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 10, 9, 10]

    The onslaught continues. Saurabh with 15 inner 10s is taking the challenge right to leaders Reitz and Mikec. He is at the fourth spot now.
  • Saurabh (Series 2): 193-10x [9, 10, 10, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10]Abhishek (Series 2): 190-6x [10, 10, 9, 9, 10, 9, 10, 10, 9, 10]

    Mikec and Foroughi are battling it out at the top with average scores of 9.7 and 9.6 per shot.

    Saurabh goes on a rampage, striking eight 10s to slowly creep back into the top-8.

    Abhishek is trying to regain his composure.
     
  • Saurabh (Series 1): 95-4x [10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9]
    Abhishek (Series 1): 94-2x [9, 9, 10, 10, 9, 10, 9, 9, 10, 9]

    Saurabh is off to a belter with five consecutive 10s. However, he follows it up with as many 9s to lose the top spot and slide down to 19th.

    Abhishek, meanwhile, is happy to take things slow, having not even finished with the first series while his compatriot is almost done with the second.

- Abhishek (Bib No. 1485) and Saurabh (Bib No. 1483) to shoot from lanes 38 and 45, respectively. Arch rivals Javad Foroughi (IRI), Damir Mikec (SRB), Artem Chernousov (ROC) will start at firing points 21, 31 and 16.

MEN'S 10M AIR PISTOL QUALIFICATION FORMAT

Saurabh and Abhishek will look to register India's first Tokyo 2020 medals when the men's 10m air pistol qualification round begins at 1 PM local time (9:30 AM IST).

In the qualification round, each competitor gets to shoot six series of 10 competition shots at a 10-ring target. The top eight shooters advance to the final.

 

WOMEN'S 10M AIR RIFLE FINAL

Yang Qian

Yang Qian of China in action at the Asaka Shooting Range, Tokyo.   -  REUTERS

 

- GOLD MEDALLIST: GET INNNN! YANG QIAN TAKES GOLD WITH AN OLYMPIC RECORD SCORE OF 251.8!

The Chinese officials start celebrating as the 21-year-old becomes the first champion in this edition of the Games.

- SILVER MEDALLIST: Galashina (ROC) lets the pressure get to her, firing a mere 8.9 off her last shot to settle for silver with a total score of 251.1.

- BRONZE MEDALLIST: Nina Christen (SUI) - 230.6

- 4th Place: Galashina shoots a perfect 10.9! Duestad 0.3 away from Nina... Can she do it?

No. Looks like has to settle for the 4th spot after topping the qualification round. We have our very first medallists, ladies and gentlemen!

- 5th Place: Muller is out with a score of 187.7. Duestad, in 4th place now, will look to be among the medallists.

- 6th Place: 20-year-old Tucker walks (166.0). Yang leads. Nina and Galashina follow.

- 7th Place: Tied at 145.4, Tucker and Kwon head into the first shoot-off! Both shoot 10.4 at first. Off the second shot, Tucker hits 10.8, while Kwon manages a 10.5.

- 8th Place: Heemoon (119.1) is the first shooter to be eliminated. Galashina (126.0) leads the pack. Duestad (125.6) is second and Yang (125.6) third.

- Heemoon is the only athlete, who is yet to enter triple digits, after 10 shots.

- Heemoon (48.6) a little adrift of the other seven shooters after five shots in the final. This is Tokyo 2020's first medal event.

 

- The final are scheduled to begin at 10:45 AM local time (7:15 AM IST).

If you want to switch to some other discipline, in the meantime, my colleague Dominic Richard will help you with the updates from a cracking hockey game in progress between India and New Zealand!

Another disappointed office-mate after India's poor show in the first shooting event, VS Aravind, will take you through all the other disciplines, which will have Indians in action - Tokyo Olympics 2020 LIVE Updates Day 2: Archers Deepika Kumari, Pravin Jadhav enter quarters; all eyes on weightlifter Mirabai Chanu

- Cheer up, Indian fans! Tokyo Olympics: Deepika, Pravin enter quarters in Archery Mixed Team event

 

WOMEN'S 10M AIR RIFLE QUALIFICATION ROUND

Duestad finishes with a Qualification Olympic Record (QOR) score of 632.9.
The others who have qualified for the final are Heemoon (631.7), Tucker (631.4), Eunji (630.9), France's Oceanne Muller (630.7), China's Yang Qian (628.7), Nina Christen of Switzerland (628.5) and Russian Anastasiia Galashina (628.5).

  • Elavenil (Series 6): 104.5 [10.6, 10.3, 9.9, 10.7, 10.5, 10.4, 10.4, 10.7, 10.8, 10.2]
    Apurvi (Series 6): 103.6 [10.5, 10.6, 10.3, 10.6, 10.4, 10.7, 10.2, 10.3, 9.7, 10.3]

    Elavenil finishes 16th with a qualification score of 626.5. Although a 10.7 followed by a 10.8 raised some hopes, a final 10.2 could only mean yet another moment of heartbreak in yet another edition of the Games.

    Apurvi placed 36th with 621.9. Shyam Vasudevan, our correspondent in Tokyo, sends me a "crying" emoji. To even think, he was there to witness this...

    Both the Indian shooters in this event are set to face an exit.
  • Elavenil (Series 5): 103.5 [10.5, 10.5, 10.4, 9.7, 10.5, 10.2, 10.6, 10.3, 10.2, 10.6]
    Apurvi (Series 5): 102.2 [10.2, 9.9, 9.6, 10.5, 10.6, 10.1, 10.6, 10.5, 9.8, 10.4]

    Ela misfires to hit a 9.7 off the fourth competition shot of the series. With just one series to go, the Cuddalore-born shooter is seven places below the top-8.

    Three 9s for Apurvi and this might just be it. She is ranked 34 on the standings.
  • Elavenil (Series 4): 104.2 [10.5, 10.1, 10.7, 10.1, 10.3, 10.6, 10.5, 10.5, 10.2, 10.7]
    Apurvi (Series 4): 104.2 [10.2, 10.4, 10.6, 10.2, 10.5, 10.2, 10.7, 10.4, 10.7, 10.3]

    Two 10.1s and a 10.2 sees Elavenil lose a few places. She is 13th now. Apurvi's struggle continues.
  • Elavenil (Series 3): 106.0 [10.3, 10.8, 10.6, 10.4, 10.4, 10.8, 10.8, 10.4, 10.6, 10.9]
    Apurvi (Series 3): 104.9 [10.7, 10.8, 10.3, 10.3, 10.3, 10.3, 10.3, 10.5, 10.9, 10.5]

    Excellent recovery from Ela as she shoots consecutive high-10s in the third series! Tops it all off with a 10.9 to make the top 10.

    Apurvi is meandering about in the 30s on the leaderboard. A 10.9 hardly helps.

    Meanwhile, Tucker is on a roll. She continues to climb up the ladder with an average of 10.5 and is now placed third behind Duestad (avg ~ 10.56) and South Korea's Park Heemoon (avg ~ 10.53).
  • Elavenil (Series 2): 104.0 [10.2, 10.4, 10.5, 10.7, 10.1, 10.8, 10.1, 10.4, 10.3, 10.5]
    Apurvi (Series 2): 102.5 [10.8, 10.2, 10.1, 9.5, 10.5, 10.3, 10.5, 10.2, 10.5, 9.9]

    Things are not looking good for Ela. She has slipped out of the top half of the table and needs to do some damage control right away.

    Yikes! A 9.5 from Apurvi off the fourth competition shot. That must hurt. Another 9 only makes things worse.

    Meanwhile, Norway's Jeanette Hegg Duestad is dominating proceedings with an average score of 10.56 per shot.
  • Elavenil (Series 1): 104.3 [10.7, 10.3, 10.7, 10.2, 10.6, 10.2, 10.7, 10.4, 10.2, 10.3]
    Apurvi (Series 1): 104.5 [10.5, 10.9, 10.5, 10.0, 10.6, 10.1, 10.8, 10.0, 10.6, 10.5]

    Apurvi gets off to a good start with a 10.5 followed by a perfect 10.9. She falters on the fourth, sixth and eighth shot, however, to register 10.0, 10.1, and 10.0 respectively. As for Ela, she's sticking to an average scoring rate of just about 10.4.
  • Apurvi (Bib No. 1472) has been assigned firing point 10. Elavenil (Bib No. 1477) to shoot from lane 24. Arch rivals Mary Carolynn Tucker (USA), Lin Ying-Shin (TPE), and Laura-Georgeta Ilie (ROU) will be firing from points 28, 36 and 56, respectively.

 

- While we all wait patiently for Day 2 action to commence (and maybe for a couple of medals as well...), take a look at all the events with Indian athletes scheduled to take place today.

WOMEN'S 10M AIR RIFLE QUALIFICATION FORMAT

Apurvi and Elavenil are up first in the women's 10m air rifle event starting at 8:30 AM local time (5 AM IST).

Apurvi Chandela

Apurvi Chandela of India practises during the Women's 10m Air Rifle Pre-Event Training at the Asaka Shooting Range during Tokyo 2020.   -  Getty Images

 

In the qualification round, each competitor gets to shoot six series of 10 competition shots at a 10-ring target. The perfect score in each series is 109 (10.9 x 10) while hitting the bull off all shots will fetch 654 (109 x 6) points.

The top eight shooters advance to the final.

 

PREVIEW

Women's 10m Air Rifle

A golden start in shooting will be the best way forward for the Indian contingent on its first day of competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, with the responsibility falling on two of the country’s best shooters in the 10m air rifle, Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan, who have dominated the event and taken turns to be world No.1.

After the breakthrough of Anjali Bhagwat and Suma Shirur, who made the Olympic final in the event at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, respectively, India has never had it this bright in the event.

Apurvi won two World Cup gold medals in 2019 before the pandemic and shot a world record 252.9 in the Delhi final. That record still stands against her name and is better than the men’s mark.

RELATED| Tokyo 2020: Elavenil Valarivan one of the strongest medal contenders- Narang

The 28-year-old Apurvi, competing in her second Olympics after Rio, has the rich experience of navigating the tensions of the Olympic stage and shooting her best. A recent dip in her scores has only helped her focus a lot more on her craft.

The 21-year-old Elavenil, a prodigy trained by Olympic medallist Gagan Narang, will be happy to prove her class, having been given the Olympic spot won by world championships silver medallist Anjum Moudgil.

From being the junior world championships silver medallist in 2018, Elavenil has come a long way, winning the World Cup gold in Rio and the World Cup Final gold in Putian, China, in 2019.

RELATED| Tokyo Olympics: Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini take aim in women’s 10m air pistol

Both Apurvi and Elavenil have the ability to put up high scores in qualification, and that provides the foundation for their confidence and builds rhythm for them to strike it big in the 24-shot final.

None of the Olympic medallists in Rio will be present in the field, but that will not make the task easier for the aspirants. Twenty-year-old Mary Carolyn Tucker of the US and the 19-year-old Eszter Meszaros of Hungary, who won the World Cup gold in Delhi and Croatia, respectively, this season will be the ones to follow.

Men's 10m Air Pistol

In the 10m men’s air pistol, India has Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma, who have also taken turns to be world No. 1 in the event. No one would have ever imagined that Indian shooting would go into the first day of the Olympics with four shooters who have all topped the world rankings.

RELATED| Anjali Bhagwat on India's shooting at Tokyo Games: Perfect teamwork, superior planning

It is no surprise though, as India has been quite dominant, especially in the rifle and pistol events, topping the medals table in a series of World Cups till the one in Delhi in March.

Both Saurabh and Abhishek have taken the quickest steps to reach the top of the world, starting with their maiden international exposure at the Asian Games in Palembang in 2018. Saurabh won the gold and Abhishek a bronze at the Games, amid a world-class field, to launch their shooting careers in splendid style.

Four-time Olympic gold-medallist and the reigning world champion Jin Jongoh of Korea will be gunning for his second air pistol gold. Since he will be missing the free pistol, the Korean will be all the more sharp in air pistol.

Saurabh had the final world record against his name at 246.3 before it was improved to 246.5 by Kim Song Guk of Korea at the Asian Championships in Doha.

- Kamesh Srinivasan

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

  • When will the Indian shooters play at the Tokyo Olympics?
    Four of the 15 Indian shooters comprising Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan, Saurabh Chaudhary, and Abhishek Verma will start their respective events on July 24.
  • At what time will the Indian shooters be in action?
    The shooting event will start today at 5 AM IST (8:30 AM local time).
  • Where to watch Indian events at Tokyo Olympics?
    The Sony Sports Network will broadcast Tokyo Olympics live in India.

    Sony TEN 3 HD/SD will telecast India events with Hindi commentary while Sony TEN 1 HD/SD and Sony TEN 2 HD/SD will have English commentary.

    Live streaming of the events will be available on the SonyLIV and JioTV apps.