Heena bows out of 10m air pistol in qualification round

Heena was way behind the leaders in the qualifying round, finishing on 14th position in the field of 44 shooters.

Heena Sidhu will now try to make amends when she competes in 25m pistol schedule to be held on August 9.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

World record holder Heena Sidhu could not strike her best form in women’s air pistol qualification, and a total of 380, nine points below her best, saw the dentist from Patiala, finish 14th in a field of 44 shooters.

She had shot better in the London Olympics. Gaining entry through a transfered quota place, she had scored 382 and was placed 12th in the 2012 Games.

On Sunday, Heena had an average, but steadily improving, series of 94, 95, 96 and 95, which saw her miss the knock-out phase by four points. Interestingly, Heena has shot 384 or more in world level competitions and Asian championships 14 times in her career.

Some of the best shooters in the world also missed the final but it was no consolation for Heena, who has two World Cup silver medals against her name, apart from the World Cup Final gold in 2013 when she beat the reigning World Champion with a world record score of 203.8.

Heena will have another chance in the 25-metre sports pistol, where she has been improving dramatically in recent months.

However, air pistol has been Heena’s favourite for long and she had a firm grip on the high scores for quite some time.

In recent times, there was a marked dip in her scores in air pistol, as apart from the best of 384 in the World Cup in Munich this season, she had only scores of 379 in both the Baku and Rio World Cups. In the two World Championships, Heena had shot scores of 382 and 381.

Coached by her husband Ronak Pandit, the two-time Asian champion Heena has been preparing systematically but she definitely missed the guidance of someone like renowned coach Anatolii Piddubnyi who died last year, after having taken her to world standards.

Sandhu, Chenai disappoint on Day 1 of trap shooting

Former world champion and six-time Asian champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu continued to struggle in his fourth Olympics, as he shot a score of 68 out of 75 and was placed 17th in a field of 33 shooters at the halfway stage, in men’s trap at the picturesque Olympic Shooting Range in Deodoro.

Manavjit, who did not win an Olympic quota this time but had topped the domestic qualification chart, had rounds of 23, 23 and 22. Two more rounds will be shot on Monday, and the top six will make it to the knock-out phase, featuring semifinals and the medal matches.

The other Indian in the fray, the young Kynan Chenai, who did win an Olympic quota but had to seek a replacement from Sanjeev Rajput as he had lost his place to Manavjit, was marginally behind with rounds of 22, 23 and 22 in tough windy conditions. Kynan’s total of 67 placed him 19th among 33 shooters.

Massimo Fabbrizi of Italy had a perfect score of 75, and was followed by Edward Ling (73) of Britain, Giovanni Pellielo (73) of Italy, Josip Glasnovic (72) of Croatia, the Beijing Games champion David Kostelecky (72) of the Czech Republic, Yavuz Ilnam (71) of Turkey and Roberto Schmits (71) of Brazil.

Former world champion Khaled Almudhaf of Kuwait, competing as an Independent Olympic Athlete (IOA) was on 70 along with Ahmed Khamar of Egypt.