India at the Olympics: Jung out of 10 mt air-pistol, Mansher, Manavjit trail

August 9th, 2008 - 2:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 9 (IANS) Continuing the disappointing show by Indian shooters, Commonwealth Games hero Samaresh Jung finished 42nd out of 48 competitors in the Man’s 10m Air Pistol qualification on the opening day of competition at the Beijing Olympic Games Saturday. Jung, who had bagged five gold medals in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, shot only 570 out of 600 at the Beijing Olympic Shooting Range Hall.

The topper, Pang Wei of China, logged 586 out of 600 to make the final easily.

Jung came into the Games with a qualification score of 584, but Saturday he fell way short of that in his pet event, where he had finished fourth at the 2007 World Cup in Munich with 584 out of 600.

Jung, however, is to compete in one more event, the 50m Pistol event.

In men’s trap, World champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Mansher Singh had contrasting fortunes.

In the third round of the first day, both seemed to be struggling to ensure their place in the six-man final. The next two qualifying rounds will be on Sunday.

Manavjit made up some lost ground with a 24 in the final set, while Mansher squandered a great start with a 20 in the final set. Mansher had shot 25 and 24 in first two rounds, while Manavjit Singh had identical 23 in both first and second sets.

Neither can afford to miss anything on the second day if they are to advance to the final.

“It seemed to be a case of pressure,” said coach Sunny Thomas, while veteran shooter and Secretary-General of Indian Olympic Association Randhir Singh called it “very disappointing, especially after such a great start by Mansher. At 70 and 69, they still have an outside chance of making the final, but cannot afford to miss anything more.”

Coach Thomas said: “They shot way below what they have been doing even in practice. I cannot explain how this happened. Maybe pressure, maybe nerves. But there is one more day to go.”

At 70 out of 75, Manavjit was one of the four shooters tied at 70 with nine shooters ahead of him. Mansher was among the eight tied at 69 with 13 shooters before him.

David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic finished first after the first three rounds of men’s qualification as he hit 73 targets with 24-24-25 as his scores. The Czech was followed by two Italian shooters, Athens runner-up Giovanni Pellielo with 73 targets and Erminio Frasca with a score of 72.

The 42-year-old Mansher, one of the most experienced shooters in the squad, seemed to be rolling back the years and getting the better of his younger teammate in the first two sets after a perfect start. He then missed just one target in the second set.

In the third he began with eight perfect shots but then missed three in the next four on the ninth, 11th and 12th birds. That seemed to unnerve him and he missed two more on the 19th and 21st. for a very disappointing 20 out of 25.

Manavjit was more steady with 23-23-24.

Alexey Alipov of Russia, Erik Varga of Slovakia, Michael Diamond of Australia and Croatia’s Josip Glasnovic took the next four places with identical 72 hits on targets.

There are 50 shots still left and the top six will qualify for the final, with any ties to be decided to be a tie-break shoot.

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