Shooters Anjali, Avneet fare badly in 3-Position

August 14th, 2008 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS  

By V. Krishnaswamy
Beijing, Aug 14 (IANS) Thursday was another disappointing day for the Indians at the Beijing Olympics shooting range, as both Anjali Bhagwat and Avneet Kaur Sidhu went out of contention in women’s 50m Rifle Three Position. Competing at her third Olympic Games, Anjali may have had the air rifle - where she failed earlier in the Games - as her favourite event earlier, but it was the 3-Position that she was concentrating on for she had earned her quota place through it.

Yet on the day when it mattered, Anjali was found wanting as she crumbled under pressure. She managed only 571 out of 600, after having shot around 585 for a considerable time before coming here. She shot 191 in prone, 189 in standing and 191 in kneeling which gave her an overall 32nd spot in the qualification round of the event.

Her teammate Avneet, making her debut at the Olympics, found herself out of depth as she totalled 552 to finish 42nd. She shot 190 in prone, 183 in standing and 179 in kneeling.

The performances were disappointing to say the least. Their Hungarian coach Lazlo Szucsak, summing up the showing, said: “Avneet needs experience and I think she was not prepared enough. Of course no one expected her to win a medal but she was not in the best shape of her shooting career and it was a very ‘okay’ sort of performance.”

As for Anjali, he added: “I expected her to shoot 580-plus. She was under pressure and this is surely disappointing when you see her score below her ability.

“You have to understand that Avneet needs to go a long way and this experience is part of her growth and I feel Anjali has one more Olympics in her and she is still capable of doing well.”

The 38-year-old Anjali had made the final of the air rifle event on her Olympic debut in Sydney, but when she was among the favourites at Athens, she failed in her ‘then’ pet event, the air rifle.

A few days before the competition, she had mentioned: “It (The Olympics) is a big competition. Everyone is trying to win and I have worked hard at it. At Sydney, I was new and didn’t realise what it was. At Athens, I was too serious and time just wasn’t on my side. After Athens, I almost quit.” But she did make it to Beijing.

Anjali has won a bagful of titles, be it Commonwealth Games, or the World Cup finals, besides triumphing in a ‘Champion of Champions’ competition. But she is yet to claim the World Championship and an Olympic medal.

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