Gloom continues for shooters, Mansher, Manav fail to make finals (Lead)

August 10th, 2008 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

By V. Krishnaswamy
Beijing, Aug 10 (IANS) There was more disappointment in store for the Indian shooters on a wet and gloomy Sunday, as the World champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu and veteran Mansher Singh crashed out of the men’s trap event at the Beijing Shooting Range. Mansher ended eighth, while Manavjit was 12th. The top six entered the medal round.

Veteran Mansher Singh, competing in his fourth Olympics, seemed on course to make the final after two excellent rounds on first day. But his third round of 20 out of 25 on Saturday proved to be his undoing.

On Sunday, he missed just one bird each in the last two rounds, but the damage had already been done as he was shut out of the final by two points. Mansher, who had a total of 69 on the first day, finished eighth among the 35 shooters with 117 from a maximum possible 125.

Manavjit Singh had recovered from his first two rounds of 23-23 with a 24 in the third round Saturday. But Sunday he caved under pressure with a 22 in the fourth, which effectively ended his chances. Not even a 24 in the final round could retrieve the situation. He finished 12th with 116.

Alexey Alipov of Russia topped the standings with 121, while Czech shooter David Kostelecky also had a similar score but was placed second on a count-back.

“Naturally, I am disappointed with the show. But that’s the way it goes. I frankly don’t think I shot badly. It was just that things didn’t work quite the way I wanted in the fourth set (22 out of 25),” said Manavjit Singh.

“At this level, there is so little to choose between the top-15 or so, that it is always a narrow margin by which you make it or miss it,” he added. “I am not going to lose heart, as there is still a lot of shooting left for me. Yes, the Olympics are over, but I am going to keep at it.”

A dejected Mansher admitted his third round of 20 out of 25 was the crucial factor. “What can I say? One tries hard, but sometimes this happens. I had one perfect 25 and three 24s and that 20 messed it up.”

Mansher, competing in his fourth Olympics, said, “Coming to Beijing I knew it would be difficult, for the best were here and I was short on practice especially after losing a couple of months due to a back problem. But when I had a 25 in first and 24 in second, it looked like things were coming together.”

But it was the third set that ruined it all. “Somehow an error crept into my posture. I was leaning a bit to the right and I did not realize till the end of the round. I corrected it today, but it was already too late after that 20.”

Italian duo Erminio Frasca and Giovanni Pellielo shot 120, while Australian Michael Diamond, a legend in Trap shooting, scraped into the final after claiming one of the two places from a shoot-off as three shooters totalled 117 each. The sixth shooter getting into the final was Josip Glasnovic of Croatia, while Karsten Bindrich of Germany was edged out.

Neither Mansher nor Manavjit are taking part in any more events.

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