Shooting stumbles to a difficult start

Acknowledging the plight of the young shooters, making their Olympic debut, former World and Olympic champion, Abhinav Bindra pointed out that it was a tough range in which to shoot.

Ayonika Paul shot a below par 4103.0, following a series of 102.0, 104.5, 102.5 and 94.0, to be placed 47th.   -  AFP

Indian shooting stumbled to an indifferent start as Apurvi Chandela shot 411.6 and placed 34th in women’s air rifle at the Olympic shooting centre on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Apurvi, who has a World Cup Final silver medal against her name apart from the Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow, started strong but finished badly, with a series of 104.2, 102.7, 103.3, 101.4 for a total of 411.6, a good 4.3 points away from making the final.

The other Indian shooter in the fray, Ayonika Paul, shot a below par 4103.0, following a series of 102.0, 104.5, 102.5 and 94.0, to be placed 47th in a field of 51 shooters.

Acknowledging the plight of the young shooters, making their Olympic debut, former World and Olympic champion, Abhinav Bindra pointed out that it was a tough range in which to shoot.

He explained that because of the demands of television by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), there was more light and it was leading to reflection and shadow on the targets.

‘’The light here is very different. A majority of the rifle shooters have struggled the last week’’, said Bindra, gearing up to sign off on a bright note in his fifth Olympics.

He said that he was no exception to the situation and was trying hard to find a solution, after training for long the day before the opening ceremony. ‘’Struggle a bit longer,’’ observed Bindra, about one way of overcoming the issue, which was not there during the Olympic test event, the World Cup in April.

Bindra said that it was ‘’great’’ carrying the flag into the stadium during the opening ceremony, but conceded that the nearly nine-hour long exercise had affected him physically.

‘’Working now to get the body right’’, said Bindra. Hopefully, Indian shooting will get it right soon, to strike the medals.