India opened its account in the 18th Asian Games with a bronze medal after Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar cracked under pressure to finish third in the rifle mixed team shooting event here on Sunday.
The Indians aggregated 429.9 after 42 shots in the 48-shot final and were in second spot for major part of the 48-shot finals before China overtook them to take the silver.
The strong Chinese pairing of Ruozhu Zhao and Haoran Yang ended with a score of 492.5. Chinese Taipei’s Yingshin Lin and Shaochuan Lu claimed the gold, scoring 494.1.
Korea and Mongolia finished fourth and fifth respectively in the event held for the first time at the Games.
It was a maiden Asian Games medal for Apurvi who was satisfied with her performance.
“Our best finish together was fourth at the World Cup and we have improved on that. My first Asian Games medal and my first medal for India here. I am really happy about that but my focus is on main event (10m rifle),” Apurvi said.
Asked about slipping to third from second in the elimination stage, Apurvi added: “This happens in shooting. I think we shot allright.”
After the first series, India was second with 102.9 while Korea led with 103.4. India remained in that position even after the third series but the Chinese improved drastically to steal the second spot.
There was disappointment in store for pistol mixed team of teen sensation Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma, who failed to qualify for the finals after being tied with Kazakhstan.
Both teams were tied at 759 points after 80 shots but the Kazakh sealed the fifth and final qualifying spot with more inners 10s than India (25 to India’s 14).
“Manu did not shoot to her potential. She was angry and agitated towards the end. She needs to work on controlling her anger. Abhishek needs to learn how to cope up with pressure in big events. It is new for him. They both will learn,” said pistol coach Jaspal Rana.
Manu had raised expectations after becoming the youngest Indian women to win a gold at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. The 16-year-old had also won two gold medals at the Guadalajara World Cup earlier this year.
In the men’s trap qualification, the seasoned Manavjit Singh Sandhu topped the first day chart with 72 out of 75, while Lakshay Sheoran was placed fifth with 71 after three out of five rounds.
In the women’s trap, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Shreyasi Singh was second with 71 out of 75, while Seema Tomar was at fourth place with 71.
The top six qualify for the finals.