Omkar Singh fails to qualify for Rio Olympics

Signs of nerves surfaced towards the end of the qualification phase as Omkar, a triple gold medallist in the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, had a '7' on the penultimate shot in the men’s air pistol event.

Omkar Singh in action during the 10m air pistol men's final event of the Asia Olympic Qualifying competition.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Omkar Singh had a chance to arrest the alarming trend of ‘missed quotas’, but lacked the courage of conviction at the crunch and joined the bandwagon as the host drew a blank in the Asia Olympic qualifying shooting competition at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Monday.

Signs of nerves had surfaced towards the end of the qualification phase when Omkar, a triple gold medallist in the Commonwealth Games in the Capital, had a 7 on the penultimate shot in men’s air pistol. He did qualify with a 577, in the fifth place, when he could have easily topped the 50-shooter field, which had double World Champion Tomoyuki Matsuda of Japan.

In the final, when there were two quota places on offer for the Rio Games, and there were only five shooters eligible in a field of eight, the 31-year-old Omkar crashed to the seventh place following a series of below par shots which included a 7.9.

“The technique is fine. But, no courage,” was the candid remark of coach Pavel Smirnov, who was instrumental in helping Vijay Kumar win the Olympic silver in the London Games.

Malaysian Guanjie Jonathan Wong and Atallah Alanazi of Saudi Arabiai revealed nerves of steel to clinch the two quota places with the gold and silver medals respectively.

In women’s skeet, in which there was not much hope as 19 shooters were fighting for one quota, Arti Singh and Saniya Sheikh revived Indian aspirations by making the knock-outs.

While Arti shot increasingly better with rounds of 22, 23 and 24 to make the final, Saniya won a shoot-off, on being tied on 68, for the last two berths in a field of three. Saniya had missed the last bird in the third round, in a series of 23, 21 and 24.

Saniya did well to win the shoot-off ahead of Arti Singh to fight for the bronze with Kim Minji of Korea, but lost 14-11.

Results:

Men: 10m air pistol: 1. Guanjit Jonathan Wong (Mas) 198.7 (578); 2. Atallah Alanazi (KSA) 198.3 (581); 3. Kim Jong Su (PRK) 176.9 (577); 7. Omkar Singh 94.6 (577); 20. Aman Pathania 570; 25. Jitendra Vibhute 568. MQS: Gurpreet Singh 582; Prakash Nanjappa 573.

Women: Skeet: 1. Naoko Ishihara (Jpn) 13 (14) 72; 2. Nutchaya Sutaporn (Tha) 10 (11)4 (70); 3. Kim Minji (Kor) 14 (11)3 (68)1; 4. Saniya Sheikh 11 (10)6 (68)2; 5. Kwak Yu Hyun (Kor) 10(5) 70; 6. Arti Singh (10)1 (69); 16. Rashmee Rahtore 61. MQS: Maheshwari Chauhan 65.