Kynan Chenai saved the day for the hosts in the Asia Olympics qualifying competition underway here as he secured another quota place for the country in the Rio Olympics.
Before Kynan’s fourth place in the men’s trap event, home fans had to see two of the other final contenders – Olympian Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Prithviraj Tondaiman fade away in the run to the finals. Earlier on Thursday, London Olympics silver medallist Vijay Kumar too failed to bring cheer to the home fans as he crashed out fifth in the 25 metre Rapid Fire event.
But the day belonged to Kynan, who ensured that for the second successive day, India had something to cheer about. He achieved India’s 10th quota place for the Games, Heena Sidhu having secured a place too, on Wednesday, by winning the women’s 10m Air Pistol event.
Having qualified third with a total of 120 hits, Kynan had to ensure he finished on the podium to be absolutely sure of the berth. But his job got easier once the first set of eliminations ended when both the Kazakhstan shooters, Andrey Mogilevskiy and Maxim Kolomoyets, were ejected from the medal shoot-off.
It left Kuwait’s Abdulrahman Al Faihan and Talal Alrashidi, and Chinese Taipei’s Kun-Pi Yang and Kynan in the fray. As Kuwait—shooting under the international federation’s (ISSF) flag as its Olympic body is suspended – had already won a quota, the three available quotas were distributed to India, Kuwait and Chinese Taipei.
Once the celebrations ended, it was time for a medal shoot-off. Kynan lost out on the bronze medal to Alrashidi, who broke 14 targets, one more than the Indian. The gold medal was won by Al Faihan, who outscored Yang 14-13
Speaking after the final, Kynan said he had the medal in his grasp. “Had I hit that target (14th shot) I would have made it. But, yes, I am happy and it has started to sink in now. This is easily the biggest result of my senior career.”