Thursday, Apr 14, 2005
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CHANGWON (KOREA): Olympic silver medallist Lt. Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had to settle for the fifth position with a 172 out of 200 in double trap in the shooting World Cup here on Wednesday.
Rathore was three points behind the eventual gold and silver medallists, world champions Walton Eller of the US and Daniele Di Spigno of Italy, with a 133 after the qualification series. However, a below par 39 out of 50 in the final put paid to his hopes of a medal, as Hu Binyuan of China who had also shot a 133 in the preliminary phase bagged the bronze following a 44 in the final.
Rathore who had won the world championship bronze apart from world cup gold in the last two seasons came up with a 47 out of 50 in the third round, incidentally the best score in that round, but an uncharacteristic 42 in the second round after a 44 in the first round meant that he conceded vital lead and qualified as the fourth best. Rathore dropped as many as seven birds by the half way mark in the final, and he missed both the birds twice in dropping 11 birds in all.
Athens Olympics gold medallist Ahmed Almaktoum of United Arab Emirates finished fourth, four points ahead of Rathore. The other two Indians Ronjan Sodhi (110) and Moraad Ali Khan (101) finished 31st and 36th in a field of 40. Sodhi had rounds of 31, 38 and 41 while Moraad had 41, 28 and 32. In women's air pistol, Shweta Chaudhry could not recapture the magical form that had seen her shoot a national record 389 out of 400 during the Commonwealth championship in Melborune recently, and finished 23rd with a 376 out of 400.
A disastrous 91 in the first round hampered Shweta's progress and rounds of 95 in the next three cards failed to lift her fortunes.
Harveen S. Rao had a series of 92, 99, 93 and 92 and the last card saw her finish three places behind Shweta despite a similar total of 376, while Sarvesh Tomar was 37th with a 366 following rounds of 90, 90, 93 and 93.
The 41-year-old Lalita Yauhleuskaya of Australia who had won the individual and team gold during the Commonwealth championship clinched the air pistol gold and the Olympic quota place with a spectacular 101.2 in the final, after having qualified as the fifth best with a 384. She kept the Chinese Tong Xin away from the Olympic berth with a 1.2 point margin.
In women's sport rifle 3-position event, Melanie Neininger of Germany clinched the gold and the quota place with a thrilling 0.2 point margin over Wu Liuxi of China.
It only emphasised how earnestly the Chinese have been making an assault on the Olympic quota places for Beijing 2008 after having confirmed two berths so far. Deepali Deshpande who has a national record 586 to her credit finished 28th with a 559, following 93 and 95 in prone, 90 and 95 in standing and 96 and 90 in kneeling.
The results: Men: Double trap: 1. Walton Eller (US) 180 (136); 2. Daniele Di Spigno (Ita) 179 (136); 3. Hu Binyuan (Chn) 177 (133); 4. Ahmed Almaktoum (UAE) 176 (134); 5. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore 172 (133); 6. Thomas Turner (Aus) 171 (132); 31. Ronjan Sodhi 110; 36. Moraad Ali Khan 101.
Women: 10m air pistol: 1. Lalita Yauhleuskaya (Aus) 485.2 (384); 2. Tong Xin (Chn) 484.0 (386); 3. Svetlana Smirnova (Rus) 483.6 (386); 23. Shweta Chaudhry 376; 26. Harveen S. Rao 376; 37. Sarvesh Tomar 366.
50-metre sport rifle 3-position: 1. Melanie Neininger (Ger) 680.8 (582); 2. Wu Liuxi (Chn) 680.6 (581); 3. Du Li (Chn) 678.8 (579); 28. Deepali Deshpande 559; 33. Kuheli Gangulee 556.
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