Jitu Rai failed to qualify for the 50m Pistol event after posting a miserable 89 in the final series to bow out of the top-8 and lose out in contention to progress in an event he has won medals in the past. In the third series too, he shot an 89 to drop in the rankings but recovered with a 94 and 95.
The disappointment was further felt with Prakash Nanjappa failing to make a mark on his Olympic debut. After a poor start of 85 in the first series, he was always playing catch up and could only finish 25th in the end for what continued India’s terrible showing in the shooting range.
As it happened, Rio 2016 Olympics:
1900 hrs IST: Jitu Rai with a miserable 88 in the fifth series and he finishes 12th. Fails to qualify for the Final!
1851 hrs IST: Prakash Nanjapa with a 93 in the fourth series. He’s 31st at the moment
1849 hrs IST: Jitu Rai with a splendid 95 in the fifth series. He’s fifth and likely to qualify
1847 hrs IST: Jitu Rai with 85/90 in the fifth series.
1844 hrs IST: Jitu Rai with 66/70 in the fifth series. He’s fifth now. Combined of 446-8x
1840 hrs IST: Jitu with a 29/30 in the fifth series. He’s sixth and will qualify if this stays
1836 hrs IST: Jitu Rai with a 94 in the fourth series. He’s up to sixth now
1834 hrs IST: Prakash posts a 91 in the third series but he’s still at a poor 39th
1829 hrs IST: Jitu with a 57/60 in the fourth series. And he’s up to sixth. Prakash meanwhile is 62/70 in the third series to still be 40th
1823 hrs IST: Jitu Rai with a 90 in the third series to stand 10th. Still narrowly outside the qualifying places
1819 hrs IST: Prakash posts a 90 in the second series. He’s in 40th place now
1815 hrs IST: Poor eighth shot for Nanjappa. He’s got 73/80 in this second series.
1813 hrs IST: Jitu with a poor third series so far. 44/50 in this. He’s dropped to 10th
1809 hrs IST: Prakash with a good performance so far in the second series. 39/40 and up to 37th
1808 hrs IST: Jitu Rai with a 95 in the second series and he’s fifth at the moment
1805 hrs IST: Jitu Rai with a 76 in the second series so far and he’s climbed to fifth
1758 hrs IST: Expect low scores
Updates say it’s raining in Rio, which means scores will be relatively low in 50m pistol. Jitu has made a slow start, placed 17th #Rio2016
— Mihir Vasavda (@mihirsv) August 10, 2016
1756 hrs IST: Nerves maybe for Prakash as he’s posted 85 in the first series to sit bottom
1750 hrs IST: Jitu Rai posts 92 in the first series. Prakash has a 61 so far. Only 1x for Jitu in that first series. The leader with a score of 97
1737 hrs IST: Jitu Rai with a nine on his third shot
1736 hrs IST: Prakash Nanjappa with a slow start. He’s 15 after first two shots
1733 hrs IST: Jitu Rai starts with a perfect 10 in his qualifier and a nine on the second shot
1730 hrs IST: The qualifier is underway! Jitu Rai wearing bib 23 and Prakash Nanjappa with bib 19 are in the lanes but yet to post a score
Indian shooters may have drawn a blank so far but pistol chief coach Smirnov Pavel compared Jitu Rai with a diamond and said he is ready to shine at the Rio Olympics.
Among the 12-member shooting contingent, only Abhinav Bindra came within striking distance of winning a medal in the 10m air rifle, before the Beijing Games gold winner lost in a closely-fought shoot-off to finish fourth.
“I can only talk about Jitu and he’s ready. To me Jitu Rai is a diamond,” Pavel told PTI at the dry firing range of the Olympic shooting centre in Deodoro on the eve of the Armyman’s much-anticipated 50m men’s pistol event.
“He has the technique and the temperament that’s needed at this stage. It’s about dealing them with emotion at the final tomorrow,” he said.
“You have to find the right kind of diamond after constant digging, and once you get it you’ve to hone it to perfection. You just can’t bring someone from the street and shine him like a diamond.”
It was a heartbreak for India in the men’s 10m air pistol final after Jitu Rai finished eighth in the field of eight shooters with a score of 78.7 at the end of the elimination round.
Jitu had qualified for the final finishing sixth in the qualifying event and raised the hopes of India’s first medal at the Rio Games. He will now compete at the men’s 50m air pistol event later this week.
It was a tough final for Jitu as he began with some bad shots with first three being below the 10-mark. His last shot was 10.1 but that was not enough to save him from elimination.
The gold was won by Vitenam’s Hoang Xuan Vinh. He finished ahead of Brazil’s Felipe Almeida who was leading until a brilliant final shot by Vinh. The bronze was won by China.