Ayonika Paul missed out on a possible victory and settled for silver at the Asian Olympic qualifying shooting championships on Friday. However, the effort helped her win a quota place for India in the 10 metre air rifle event. India now have 11 quota, or qualification, berths for the Rio Olympics.
The gold medal slipped out of Ayonika’s hands after she lost a tie shoot with Iran’s Najmeh Khedmati. The two had finished with identical scores of 205.9. A shot later, the winner was decided as Najmeh shot a 10.1 and Ayonika managed only 9.9. The bronze medal was won by Pooja Ghatkar, who was the early leader in the 20-shot final.
“I am happy but I am disappointed too as I wanted the gold medal today,” said Ayonika.
Seven of the eight finalists were in the reckoning for a quota place, but India could only have one as Apurvi Chandela has already bagged one in the event.
Ayonika qualified third for the final after having collected 416.6 points while Pooja was fifth with 415.6 points. The third Indian in the fray, Elizabeth Susan Koshy, finished 13th after totaling 413.6.
Pooja set the pace as she jumped into the lead straightaway by logging 10.7 with her first shot while Ayonika’s first shot was a modest 9.6. But from then on, Ayonika beagn her ascent to medal positions, and by the sixth shot she was lying second. By the 11th shot, she had jumped into the lead.
The quota was in the bag when only four shooters were left after the ejection of Singapore’s Xiu Yi Ho. South Korea’s Eunseo Lee was awarded the second quota which was up for grabs.
In the other event of the day, Omkar Singh finished fifth in the 50 metre pistol. Jai Singh was placed 27, and the quota winner from India in this event, Prakash Nanjappa, was placed 30th.