Indian shooters had another dismal day in the ranges as both Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh failed to qualify for the final of the women’s 10m air pistol event at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
After Vijay Kumar failed to qualify in the men’s 10m air pistol event yesterday, there was no change of fortune for the 11-member contingent as Heena finished 12th and Annu took the 23rd spot in the event.
The 23-year-old Heena, who was preferred ahead of Athens Games silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, could manage a total of 382 while Annu compiled 378, an effort which was not good enough to make the cut.
The Indian duo was not serious medal contenders but Heena was at least expected to qualify for the finals.
“I think it was because of the huge pressure on her. It is her first Olympics and the pressure perhaps had a bearing on her performance. It is not easy, but we have to take it,” India’s national coach Sunny Thomas said.
Heena, who won the silver medal in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou and one gold and silver in the commonwealth Games in New Delhi, had scores of 93 97 97 95 but it was her nervy show in the first round that ultimately had a bearing on her performance.
The 28-year-old Annu, who won a gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a bronze in 2012 Asian Championship in Doha, had scores of 94 96 97 91, paying the price for a poor low score in the last round.
Wenjun Guo of China finished at the top of the qualification with 388 points followed by Olena Kostevych of Ukraine (387), Celine Goberville of France (387) and Yuling Su of China (386).
Guo eventually won the gold medal, the silver went to Goberville while the bronze was won by Kostevych.
It was the second day in a row that the Indians have failed to qualify and it will put enormous pressure on the other shooters who are expected to do the bulk of the medal shopping.
Tomorrow could turn out to be a big day for India as Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang will be representing the country in their pet event, 10-metre Air Rifle. Two days later, Ronjan Sodhi will look to hit the bull’s eye in the double trap event.
First-timer Olympian Sodhi, who had trained in Italy along with compatriots Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Shagun Choudhary, arrived here with two world titles under his belt.
Then there are also Sanjeev Rajput, Joydeep Karmakar and Rahi Sarnobat - all capable of producing scores good enough to get medals.