Vijay Kumar `gifted' shooting bronze

Kamesh Srinivasan

Rules do not let a country take all three medals; India misses team medal

DOHA: It was a gifted medal from China, but Vijay Kumar deserved it. The 21-year-old Himachal Pradesh lad finished fourth in rapidfire pistol, but was presented the bronze medal as China was ineligible to take all the three medals home despite sweeping the top three positions at the 25-metre range at the Lusail Shooting Complex here on Wednesday.

In a battle between three with the same score of 577 after the preliminary stage, Vijay Kumar prevailed as he shot a 198.3 in the final as against 193.9 by Teruyoshi Akiyama and 184.8 by Tomohiro Kida of Japan.

The shooting rules of the Asian Games do not allow a country from taking all the three medals in an event.

China had to concede the bronze medal to Olga Dovgun of Kazakhstan in women's air rifle earlier.

Below par card

Except for an unexpectedly below par card of 95 in the 8-second series, the Commonwealth Games double gold medallist, Vijay Kumar was right on target throughout.

He finished energetically, and second best in the final, one point behind the eventual champion Liu Zhogsheng who shot a 199.4.

The reigning world champion Zhang Penghui had to settle for the silver 0.3 point behind Liu while Liu Guohui went without a medal despite finishing third with a 776.5.

The Indian team finished fourth behind China, Japan and Kazakhstan. Pemba Tamang, who had shot a 579 in the world championship, was not at his best and thus a medal eluded the squad. The third shooter Rahul Panwar started well with a 100 but finished with an 84 for a total of 563.

Rahul had been chosen ahead of the more experienced Ramkishan Yadav who had helped India to the sixth place with Vijay and Pemba in the world championship, as he had shot 0.40 points better in the cumulative scores of the three trial matches.

Tejaswini shines

In women's 50-metre rifle 3-position, Tejaswini Sawant shot better than the two Olympians, Anjali Bhagwat and Deepali Deshpande, in making the final.

The air rifle specialist was not that fluent in standing and thus was not in a reckoning for a medal, especially after she had started the final with a 7.9. India took its tally to four silver and four bronze medals from shooting.

The results: Men: rapidfire pistol: 1. Liu Zhongsheng (Chn) 778.4 (579); 2. Zhang Penghui (Chn) 778.1 (580); 3. Liu Guohui (Cn) 776.5 (579); 4. Vijay Kumar 775.3 (577); 9. Pemba Tamang 574; 20. Rahul Panwar 563.

Team: 1. China 1738; 2. Japan 1721; 3. Kazakhstan 1720; 4. India 1714.

Women: 50m rifle 3-position: 1. Wang Chengyi (Chn) 685.4 (585); 2. Olga Dovgun (Kaz) 682.3 (586); 3. Yoon Kyung Na (Kor) 680.2 (581); 7. Tejaswini Sawant 672.9 (578); 19. Deepali Deshpande 570; 22. Anjali Bhagwat 569.

Team: 1. China 1744; 2. Korea 1739; 3. Kazakhstan 1731; 5. India 1717.