After their cornering glory in the Commonwealth Games and promising start to the competitions here, the much touted Indian shooters drew a blank at the range for the second day running at the Asian Games today with the pistol markswomen way off target. After bagging two silver and as many bronze medals, the shooters, who provided India with the golden touch in the CWG, put up a major flop show and left everyone wondering what has gone wrong with them. The women's trio of Rahi Sarnobat, Annu Raj Singh and Anisa Sayyed flopped badly in the 25-metre pistol event as the trio failed to qualify for the finals in the individual category and finished a disappointing seventh in the team competition at the Aoti Shooting Range.
Rahi was the best of the lot, finishing the qualifiers in the 10th position with 577 points (286 in the precision round and 292 in rapid). She shot rounds of 96, 94 and 96 in precision and followed it up with a better display in the rapid fire (96, 96, 99). Annu was no better as she shot 288 and 286 in the two rounds for an overall tally of 574 that fetched her the 18th spot -– 97, 95, 96 in precision and 95, 96, 95 in rapid, while Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anisa finished a disappointing 26th with a tally of 566 points (282 and 284), well below her effort in Delhi last month. Anisa shot 97, 92 and 93 and 95, 93, 96 in the two segments, well below what she is capable of.
The best qualifying effort came from Japan's Mori Yukari (587) but her team finished only fourth. The Indian trio were no better in the team event as they finished seventh with an overall aggregate of 1717, six below bronze medal winning South Korea. Kazakhstan won the gold with 1731, while Mongolia (1725) and South Korea (1723) bagged silver and bronze respectively. India's chief shooting coach Sunny Thomas conceded the women were totally off colour today and bemoaned that had Anisa shot slightly better and got six more points the team bronze would have returned with atleast a bronze. But Thomas added that Anisa complained of pain in her hand and also took medical help at the clinic inside the range.
"Anisa shot 566 which was much below her 585 in Delhi. Had she shot six more points we could have secured the team bronze. But she had complained about some pain in her shooting hand for which she got treated at the clinic inside the range. She took some pain killers and participated," he said. "But I don't want to tout that an excuse. If it had to happen it happened, that's all," he said.