China’s Lin Yuemei sets women’s air pistol world mark, Indians struggle on Day 3
China’s Lin Yuemei upstages compatriot and Rio champion Zhang Mengxue to win women’s 10m air pistol in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup, Indians fail to make a markUpdated: Feb 26, 2017 19:46 IST
China’s Lin Yuemei set a world record in the women’s 10m air pistol as the shooting superpower continued its domination in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup at the Karni Singh ranges on Sunday. Lin, 23, upstaged compatriot and Rio Olympics champion Zhang Mengxue, who claimed silver.
It provided another example in the gulf in performance between China and India, although the target of the shooters from both countries is the same, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The overall performance of the Chinese shooters in the season-opening World Cup indicated the head start they have got, while Indian shooters, who failed to win a medal at the Rio Games, are still struggling to find rhythm.
INDIAN COACH DEFENDS SHOWING
However, India’s Russian pistol coach Smirnov Pavel expressed satisfaction over the national team’s performances, saying the main goal is to make an impact at the Tokyo 2020.
‘’Two pistol shooters --- Neeraj Kumar in 25m rapid fire and Harveen Srao in (women’s) 10m air pistol have reached the final, and that indicates things are going in the right direction. Winning a medal is not that important (now) as the training cycle has been designed to excel in 2020,’’ he said.
On Saturday, Neeraj Kumar had finished eighth and last in the 25m rapid fire event final.
Pavel’s logic didn’t appear sound, going by the performance of Harveen Srao. She entered the final of the 10m air pistol, finishing seventh. Olympian Heena Sidhu, the other prominent shooter, failed to qualify for the final. In the preliminary round, she scored 378/400 to finish 11th in a field of 37 shooters.
In the final, Harveen Srao, a former world junior champion, had a nervous start. In her first attempt, in the initial series of five shots, she scored only 8.9. It could be counted as a bad shot, but her better shots were scattered and not grouped, which should be a worrying factor for the coach. After a slow start, Harveen wasn’t steady in the competition that featured China’s Rio Olympics champion, Zhang Mengxue.
On Harveen’s early elimination in the final, India’s team coach said, ‘’His job is to give education, but it is up to the shooter to show some courage to withstand the challenging conditions during the final.”
In the qualification, Harveen Srao scored 379/400 and was the last of eight qualifiers who made it to the final.
LIN SETS WORLD MARK
Zhang Mengxue had a good start and led the field after the first five shots, but was shaky in the next series, one of which fetched her a mere 7.8 points. But she showed grit to regain lost ground and eventually win silver with a score of 237.8.
Compatriot Lin Yuemei shot 240.8 to win gold and set a world record.
After the event, Lin said through an interpreter that she was nervous in the beginning, but managed to stay calm in the second half of the 24-shot final. Her main target is to win a medal in the Tokyo Olympics.
“Zhang is a great friend of mine, we train and spend a lot of time together. It’s a great feeling to win a medal here, in the first competition of the season.”
RAJPUT FADES AWAY
In men’s 50m rifle three-position event, there was hope India’s Sanjeev Rajput would exhibit his skill in the final, but he managed only fifth. After scoring 1159 in qualification to enter the medal round, he could not cope with the conditions. ‘’I wanted to win a medal on home ground and tried my level best, but some of the good shots were not enough to improve my overall score. I was hitting 10s, but inner 10, it made the difference,’’ he said.
First Published: Feb 26, 2017 19:46 IST