Shooting World Cup: Zoravar Singh Sandhu misses a medal

Zoravar Singh Sandhu tried too hard and missed the last bird and a bronze medal in men’s trap in the shooting World Cup at the Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Saturday.

Zoravar Singh Sandhu has a word of appreciation from coach Marcello Dradi after he missed the bronze by a bird in the World Cup in Delhi on Saturday.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Zoravar Singh Sandhu tried too hard and missed the last bird and a bronze medal in men’s trap in the shooting World Cup at the Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Saturday.

The self-imposed pressure of competing at home, in front of an appreciating audience, possibly caught up with the 39-year-old Zoravar, who had won a World Cup bronze in Changwon in 2007.

SAF Games champion as early as in 2004 in Islamabad, Zoravar may not have much experience in the finals except for the two Asian Championships in 2007 and 2013, apart from the Asian Games in Busan in 1998, but handled the final remarkably well.

After being in the lead for the most part with the eventual gold and silver medallists, Simone D’ Ambrosio and Giovanni Pellielo of Italy, Zoravar missed three of the last 10 birds as against one by Alberto Fernandez of Spain, the eventual bronze medallist.

Zoravar could have salvaged the bronze but for missing the 35th bird, as the fans hissed in disappointment. The Spaniard did not miss and clinched the bronze.

In fact, Zoravar had missed the last bird in the fourth series in the morning. Yet, he had done a commendable job of shooting 23, 24, 23, 24 and 24 over two days in tough conditions to qualify for the final in the fourth place.

The 20-year-old Simone D Ambrosio, the European junior champion and a silver medallist of a Junior World Cup last year in Gabala, won the gold ahead of the four-time World Champion and three-time Olympic silver medallist, the 46-year-old Giovanni Pellielo, who had also won the Sydney Olympics bronze.

Olympian Kynan Chenai had a good fare today, but had missed a lot earlier to be placed 15th with 113. In the MQS section, former World Champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu was unable to follow up well on his overnight 71, and slipped with a last round of 21.

He had indeed started the day brisk with a perfect 25 in the fourth. The disappointment of not following up on the women’s air rifle bronze by Pooja Ghatkar apart, it was a good performance by the host, as Neeraj Kumar made the men’s 25-metre rapid fire pistol final with a total of 579.

However, competing in his maiden final, in his maiden World Cup, the 22-year-old Neeraj could only return scores of 2, 2, 2 and 3, as he collected nine out of a maximum possible 20 points. It was some effort, particularly in the light of Olympian Gurpreet Singh placing 12th with 573.

London Olympics silver medallist, Vijay Kumar, competing in the MQS event, shot 569. In the mixed air rifle doubles event, being tried as a demonstration event, the Indian pairs failed to make the final.

Deepak Kumar and Meghana Sajjanar placed tenth with 619.4, a mere 2.7 points away from the sixth placed Iranian team of Elaheh Ahmadi and Hossein Bagheri. The other Indian team of Ravi Kumar and Vinita Bhardwaj was 18th with a total of 611.5 from among 21 teams.

The Chinese and the Japanese, ever eager to be ready for an Olympic event, swept the medals, with China bagging the gold and bronze. Song Buhan and Wu Mingyang who had topped the qualification with 626.4 won the gold with a total of 416.8, two points ahead of the Japanese Atsushi Shimada and Ayno Shimizu. The bronze was won by Shi Mengyeo and Sui Gengcheng.

The results:

Men: 25m rapid fire pistol: 1. Lao Jiajie (Chn) 31(5) 583; 2. Lin Junmin (Chn) 31(3) 585; 3. Ruslan Lunev (Aze) 23 (579); 6. Neeraj Kumar 9 (579); 12. Gurpreet Singh 573; 15. Harpreet Singh 568. MQS: Vijay Kumar 569; Rajesh Kumar 582.

Trap: 1. Simone D’ Ambrosio (Ita) 45 (117); 2. Giovanni Pellielo (Ita) 43 (119); 3. Alberto Fernandez (Esp) 33 (120); 4. Zoravar Singh Sandhu 28 (118); 15. Kynan Chenai 113; 33. Birendeep Sodhi 108. MQS: Manavjit Singh Sandhu 117; Prithviraj Tondaiman 113.