NEW DELHI: Sushma Singh gave herself a golden chance for a medal and the Olympic quota place, but was unable to pin either, despite shooting two National records in the 25-metre sport pistol event of the shooting World Cup at Bangkok on Wednesday.
Going into the final as joint leader with Jasna Sekaric of Serbia with a 583, a National record that eclipsed the Indian lady's own effort of 582 in a World Cup at Bangkok in 2004, Sushma was troubled by a malfunction of the pistol during the sighting series. Into the competition, after she was given a separate second sighting series, the 27-year-old Sushma was not at her best and took the sixth place with a 197.4 in the final. She had scores of 52.1, 49.5, 47.5 and 48.3 in the four rounds of the rapid fire final, and her challenge fizzled out after such a spectacular start.
It was no consolation that Sushma's overall effort of 780.4 beat her own National record of 765 set at Hyderabad in 2005.
In a way, it was not such a surprise that Sushma, sister of the Doha Asian Games triple gold medallist, Jaspal Rana, shooting only in her third final in a world event, did not do that well to retain her lead, as the rapid fire section was not her strong point. In fact, in the qualification series, Sushma shot 295 in the precision series, the best among the 70 shooters in the fray, but only 288 in the rapid fire section, the least among the eight finalists.
Quite incredibly, in a first of its kind in the event, the top three shooters tied for the medals, and had to go through a shoot-off, in which the Mongolians Munkzul Tsogbadrah and Gundegmaa
Otryad took the gold and silver with a difference of 0.1 points, leaving the bronze to Michiko Gukushima of Japan who had won the quota place in the last World Cup at Sydney recently.
With the top four having already gained the Olympic quota place, the quota went to the fifth placed Zsofia Csonka of Hungary who had shot a 781.7, an impressive effort after a 580 in the qualification series.
The other two Indians in the fray were below par, with Annu Raj Singh taking the 18th place with a 576 and Shweta Chaudhary finishing 35th with a 573.
The results: Women's sport pistol: 1. Munkzul Tsogbadrah (Mgl) 783.3 (50.7) 582; 2. Gundegmaa Otryad (Mgl) 783.3 (50.6) 580; 3. Michiko Fukushima (Jpn) 783.3 (49.1) 580; 6. Sushma Singh 780.4 (583); 18. Annu Raj Singh 576; 35. Shweta Chaudhary 573.