Home advantage fails to work for India

India could win only four Olympic quota berths out of a total 35 from the Asian Qualifying Championship shooting competition in Tughlakabad.

While it was commendable that 12 Indian shooters made the cut for Rio overall, the expectation was 15 to 18.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The projected home advantage did not work in India’s favour, as it could win only four Olympic quota berths out of a total 35, from the Asian Qualifying Championship shooting competition in Tughlakabad.

While it was commendable that 12 shooters made the cut for Rio, the expectation was 15 to 18.

The visitors, who had free entries, boarding and lodging apart from local transport, celebrated the hospitality by clinching a better share of the quota berths.

Japan topped the table with five quota places, to take its tally to eight in shooting. Korea and Kuwait won four each, after having won 13 and two respectively, from the World Championships and the World Cups.

Iran (3), Qatar (2), Thailand (2), UAE (2), DPR Korea (2), Chinese Taipei (2), Singapore, Saudi Arabia, China, Kazakhstan and Malaysia won the rest of the quota places in the capital.

While China had already won 22 quota places in shooting, and collected a solitary quota from here, the rest of the Asian countries had clinched 41 seats in all earlier, before capturing 30 from here.

Japan had three and added five, Chinese Taipei (3) added two, DPR Korea (2) won two, Iran (2) won three, Thailand (3) won two, UAE (1) added two, Kazakhstan (4) added one, while Qatar, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia won five quotas between them after not winning anything in the global competition.

Of course, India narrowly missed about 10 quota places, perhaps because it did not capitalise on the home advantage.

The Karni Singh Shooting Range was shut after the national championship. It was opened for training just in time, after all the targets were set up and calibrated, for the home shooters when the visitors had already arrived to prepare in right earnest.

The final hall was not opened for training at all, which if done, could have helped the host to win at least half a dozen more quota places, as the eventual margins were so wafer thin.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :