Shooting World Cup: Pooja Ghatkar places fourth

It was an impressive performance from the 27-year-old Pooja, on a day when five other leading Indian shooters, all of whom had won the Olympic quota place, Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Chain Singh, Apurvi Chandela and Ayonika Paul, did not make the final in the men’s and women’s events.

Ayonika Paul (left) and Pooja Ghatkar after the Olympic qualifiers earlier this year.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Former Asian champion Pooja Ghatkar, who had missed the Olympic quota place narrowly to compatriot Ayonika Paul, placed fourth in women’s air rifle in the season’s first World Cup shooting event in Bangkok on Wednesday.

It was an impressive performance from the 27-year-old Pooja, on a day when five other leading Indian shooters, all of whom had won the Olympic quota place, Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Chain Singh, Apurvi Chandela and Ayonika Paul, did not make the final in the men’s and women’s events.

Pooja had qualified in third place with a score of 416.7, and eventually missed a chance to fight for a better place by 0.8 point to Olivia Hofmann of Austria who clinched the silver behind the seasoned Yi Siling of China, and ahead of Jasmine Ser of Singapore.

Ayonika Paul and Apurvi Chandela placed 17th and 18th respectively as they missed the final by 2.4 and 2.6 point respectively.

In men’s air rifle, Chain Singh who may not shoot the event in the Olympics, returned the best performance with a score of 626.3 for the tenth place, even as three Chinese made the final with Yang Haoran winning the gold with a final world junior record of 209.8, after having topped qualification with a total of 632.2.

Former World and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, quite known to keep a low profile in the Olympic year, shot 622.7 for the 18th place, following a series of 103.8, 104.0, 103.0, 102.7, 105.6 and 103.6.

London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang shot 617.6 for the 33rd place in a field of 50 shooters.

Results

10m air rifle

Men: 1. Yang Haoran (Chn) 209.8 (FWRJ) 632.2; 2. Cao Yifei (Chn)

207.6 (629.9); 3. Istvan Peni (Hun) 186.99 (630.8); 10. Chain Singh

626.3; 18. Abhinav Bindra 622.7; 33. Gagan Narang 6176. MQS: Akhil

Sheoran 622.5.

Women: 1. Yi Siling (Chn) 207.7 (420.2); 2. Olivia Hofmann (Aut) 205.4

(416.4); 3. Jasmine Ser Xiang Wei (Sin) 184.6 (416.5); 4. Pooja

Ghatkar 164.0 (416.7); 17. Ayonika Paul 413.8; 18. Apurvi Chandela

413.6. MQS: Elizabeth Susan Koshy 413.1.