Manavjit Sandhu bags silver

NEW DELHI: World champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu missed the last bird in the final, while Asian Games champion Naser Meqlad of Kuwait smashed the last bird to clinch the trap gold in the Asian Clay Shooting Championship in Bangkok on Wednesday.

While four-time Asian champion Sandhu grappled with a malfunctioning trigger in the fifth round and subsequently the final, the Kuwaiti marksman rarely put a foot wrong, though he shot only one bird better than the Indian ace in the final.

Both Sandhu and Meqlad made the final with an identical total of 120, but the Kuwaiti had the confidence going into the climax as he had returned a perfect 25 earlier in the day, while Sandhu had shot a 23 in the last qualification round. The two were tied after 24 shots in the final, but the Kuwaiti revealed nerves of steel in pipping the Indian who had recently won the gold in the World Cup in Acapulco, Mexico.

It was the second time that Meqlad was teasing Sandhu on the big stage, after he had beaten him to the gold in the Asian Games in Doha in 2006 by a comfortable margin of three points.

The Indian team had the consolation of winning the gold, five points ahead of Kuwait, but Birendeep Sodhi (111) and Mansher Singh (110) narrowly missed making the individual final.

The Indian woman had clinched the team bronze on Tuesday in trap, four points behind Kuwait and Qatar. However, the Indian women fared below par in the individual competition in which former world champion in double trap Yi Chun Lin of Chinese Taipei walked away with the gold with a total of 85 out of 100, five points ahead of Chattaya Kitcharoen of Thailand.

Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Member of Parliament, on a visit to Bangkok, presented the medal to the champion Indian team.

The results:

Trap:Men: 1. Naser Meqlad (Kuw) 139 (120); 2. Manavjit Singh Sandhu 138 (120); 3. Nam Jun Song (Kor) 135 (117); 7. Birendeep Sodhi 111; 8. Mansher Singh 110. MQS: Zorawar Singh Sandhu 114; Prithviraj Thondaiman 109.

Team: 1. India 341; 2. Kuwait 336; 3. Chinese Taipei 317.

Women: 1. Yi Chun Lin (Tpe) 85 (67); 2. Chattaya Kitcharoen (Tha) 80 (64); 3. Geeun Kang (Kor) 78 (64); 8. Seema Tomar 58; 11. Varsha Tomar 54; 12. Shreyasi Singh 54.

Team: 1. Kuwait 170; 2. Qatar 170; 3. India 166 .