Bindra finishes fourth in 10m Air Rifle

Abhinav Bindra missed the opportunity to win India's first medal in the Rio Olympic Games as he finished fourth in the 10m Air Rifle event.

Published : Aug 08, 2016 18:46 IST , Rio de Janeiro

Abhinav Bindra... a remarkable rally to make it to the final of the 10m air rifle event.
Abhinav Bindra... a remarkable rally to make it to the final of the 10m air rifle event.

Abhinav Bindra... a remarkable rally to make it to the final of the 10m air rifle event.

It was gold or nothing for Abhinav Bindra. The former World and Olympic champion made a vibrant attempt to win India's first medal at this year's Games in the men’s air rifle final, but the sub-10 shots caught up with him in the end. Bindra was beaten in the shoot-off for a medal and ended with a fourth spot at the Deodoro Olympic Shooting Range.

Tied at 163.8 after 16 shots with the eventual silver medallist Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine, Bindra shot a 10.0 compared to a 10.5 by Kulish.

READ: >No more shooting for me, not even as a hobby, says Bindra

Bindra walked away from the scene, for one last time, to his coach Heinz Reinkemier, and tried to glance at the audience to gauge the impact of his elimination. Quite interestingly, Gaby Buehlmann of Switzerland, who had coached Bindra to the gold during the Beijing Games, was with Niccolo Campriani of Italy this time, and the silver medallist of the London Games graduated to the gold.

Gaby got a congratulatory hug from her husband, Reinkemier. They are two fine coaches, who have honed Bindra to top class standard over the years.

For the 33-year-old Bindra, the final was a far cry from the manner in which he had earlier ensured qualification into his third Olympic final with a blitzkrieg in the climax. Even in the final, Bindra recovered from a sedate start to shoot the 10.7s and 10.8s, but four 9s pulled him down.

Earlier in the day, even as London Games bronze medallist Gagan Narang crashed to the 23rd spot with a total of 621.7, after a very promising start when he had rounds of 105.3 and 104.5, Bindra stepped it up slowly to shoot the required numbers for a total of 625.7 that placed him in the seventh place ahead of Illia Charheika of Belarus.

Bindra shot four 10.8s, as against a maximum possible 10.9, on the trot and ended the round with a 10.4. He had taken a break after the fourth series, to talk to coach Reinkemeier, and have a sip of water. On resumption, Bindra struggled to strike a similar rhythm and had the lowest total of 102.1 in the fifth series.

He bounced back in the climax, with a 10.7 first shot in the sixth series, and did not shoot below 10.3 afterwards, with the 10.8s ensuring his entry into the final.

Notable among the shooters who failed to make the final were the Asian Games silver medallist Cao Yifei of China; the London Games gold medallist Alin George Moldoveanu of Romania (622.7) and the 20-year-old Yang Haoran of China (620.5), the reigning World champion and Youth Olympics champion.

Manavjit exits

In trap, former World champion and six-time Asian champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu shot 115, following a series of 23, 23, 22, 25 and 22, as he missed the final by three points.

The 39-year-old Manavjit looked to recover lost ground with a perfect 25 in the fourth round in the morning, but a 22 in the last saw him match his previous Olympic journey.

The young Kynan Chenai, making his Olympic debut, shot 114 for the 19th spot in a field of 33 shooters, following a series of 22, 23, 22, 24 and 23.

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