The sheer mediocrity of their performance could not open the door leading to the finals and the Indian shooting duo of Anjali Bhagwat and Avneet Kaur Sidhu bade adieu to the Beijing Olympics following their defeat in the 50m Rifle Three Position here on Thursday.
Anjali could not take any moment to cherish from her third Olympics. Her aggregate of 571 – 191 in prone, 189 in standing and 191 in kneeling – was only good enough for the overall 32nd spot in the qualifying session of her pet event.
Olympic debutant Avneet too got a taste of the depth of the field and her total of 552 – 190 in prone, 183 in standing and 179 in kneeling – had her at 42nd, suggesting she has a long way to go before she can come back as a medal contender.
And as the duo made a silent exit from the Beijing Shooting Range Hall, their Hungarian coach Lazlo Szucsak said it was disappointing.
According to the coach, Avneet lacked preparation, while Anjali succumbed to pressure. "Avneet needs experience and I think she was not prepared enough,” said Szucsak. “Of course none expected her to win a medal but she was not in the best shape of her shooting career and it was a very okay sort of performance.”
On Anjali, he said the three-time Olympian fell short of expectations.
“I expected her to shoot 580-plus. She was under pressure and this is surely disappointing when you see her score against her ability," Szucsak said.
The Hungarian was particularly unhappy with the scenario back home and said one could not pluck Olympic medals out of thin air, without putting in place the required infrastructure. “For nearly two years, we did not get any ammunition. I told NRAI that if we want to prepare well for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the next Olympics, it has to start from September 1.”