Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Hyped as strong medal contenders the pair of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary finished poor seventh in the 10M Air Pistol Mixed Team competitions on Tuesday, at the Tokyo Olympics Shooting competition at the Asaka range in Tokyo.
After topping the first qualification round with a score of 586 out of 600, and showing glimpses of the form that made them win four world cup gold medals, Manu and Saurabh fell short of the medals rounds by four points in the second, finishing with a score of 380 out of 400. The second pair of Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Deswal could not make it beyond the first qualification round, finishing 17thwith a score of 564.
As if it was not enough more bad news followed .This time it was in the 10M Air Rifle Mixed Team event in which Indian pairs could not progress beyond the first round of qualification.
Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar shot a combined 626.5 for a 12thplace finish while Deepak Kumar and Anjum Moudgil shot 623.8 to also finish outside the top eight at 18thspot.
Upset by the continues flop show of the shooters, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) announced its intention of overhauling the coaching and support staff.
NRAI chief Raninder Singh, told media at the Asaka range said “Yes definitely the performances have not been on expected lines and I have spoken of an overhaul of coaching and support staff as I feel something is lacking in getting our shooters prepared for these big occasions because clearly the talent is there and we have seen it here as well.
Having said that we still have starts left and the team is fighting so let’s continue to back the team and I am sure we’ll get results. Post-mortems can wait till after the Games.”
Day five (Wednesday )has the Trap competitions on schedule where India has no entry, but day six will see Rahi Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker pick up the fight again in the Women’s 25M Pistol qualifications.