Winning three medals in a World championship, two of them gold with world records, and bagging two Olympic quota places for the London Games, may please many, but national coach Prof. Sunny Thomas was candid in admitting that the Indian shooters could have fared better in the 50th World championship which concluded in Munich on Tuesday.
Good show, but …
“It is a good performance no doubt, but our shooters were capable of much better. They shot very high scores, better than even the gold medals, during the training phase.
Maybe some of them peaked early. Or maybe, they will come up with good scores during the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games,” said Prof. Thomas, on his return from Germany.
Acknowledging the superb display by Tejaswini Sawant, Gagan Narang, Asher Noria and Hariom Singh, the national coach said that some of the shooters missed medals narrowly.
“We lost three or four medals. Heena Sidhu scored 382 in air pistol. Her last shot was an eight. As you know 383 was in the final. Even with a nine on the last shot, India could have got a team medal,” observed Prof. Thomas.
The national coach also pointed out that in air pistol junior women's section, India ended up two points away from a team medal as Komal Barot had seven on the last shot.
In 50-metre rifle prone junior women's section, C. Rekha's 594 was the same as the bronze-winning score, but the Indian girl had to be content with the sixth place owing to fewer inner 10s.
The national coach was particularly disappointed with the men's standard pistol team, as Samaresh Jung, Vivek Singh and Harpreet Singh had been shooting much better scores in training in Hannover.
The coach said that Seema Tomar had to be stopped from continuing with the competition in women's trap, as she had injured her shoulder badly in the run-up to the competition.
She was shooting against doctor's advice, and the coach had to put a stop after she had gone through agony in shooting a round, for fear of aggravating the problem.
Similarly, Arti Singh in women's skeet could not continue after a round, owing to a bout of fever that she had contracted prior to her competition during the training phase in rain.
There were many moments of joy and moments of agony for the Indian camp, but Prof. Thomas said that there was a lot to look forward to from the Indian squad in the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
India may have slipped from its performance in 2006, but the national coach assured that the best was yet to come this season.