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Mansher clinches Olympic quota

NEW DELHI: Mansher Singh clinched the Olympic quota place for the 2008 Games in Beijing through a nerve-wracking tie-shoot as he finished fourth with a total of 140 out of 150 in the men's trap event at the ISSF World Cup in Lonato, Italy, on Saturday.

Mansher made it to the final with an impressive score of 122, but nerves caught up with him in the final as he managed 18 out of 25. Mansher's target was to stay ahead of Kuwait's Abdulrahman Al Faihan, the only other shooter in the final without the Olympic quota.

Massimiliano Mola, who won the gold with a total of 146, was also without the quota. But since two Italians, Giovanni Pellielo and Massimo Fabbrizi, had already claimed trap quotas, Mola was not in the race. According to the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) rules, a country could earn maximum of two quota places in each event. Faihan shot 20 in the final to join Mansher and Fabbrizi in the tie-shoot carried out for the Olympic quota. The tie-shoot went on till the ninth shot when the Kuwaiti missed the target while Mansher held his own to win the quota.

Mansher became ninth Indian to gain Olympic quota .

Mansher was in his prime focus as he reeled out a series of 25, 25, 25 to lead the opening day with a perfect 75. He added 23 and 24 this morning to finish at 122 out of 125.

Sandhu misses out

World champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu missed out on a place in the final after going out in the five-player tie-shoot for three places.

Five shooters were tied at 120, but Sandhu lost his nerve and the tie-shoot. Fabbrizi, Russia's Alexey Alipov and Faihan qualified. The other Indian in the fray, Anwar Sultan, shot 114 and finished 53rd in a field comprising 152 shooters.

Earlier On Friday, Indian women trap shooters began their campaign on a sorry note with the National champion Shagun Chowdhary finishing 37th in the field of 64 with a score of 61. Shagun shot a good first round of 23 but faded out with 18 and 20 in the next two.

Seema Tomar shot a series of 19, 21 and 16 for a total of 56 and finished 53rd. Slovakia's Zuzana Stefecekova won the gold medal beating Britain's Lesly Goddard in the tie-shoot. Briton Charlotte Kerwood settled for the bronze medal. After scoring 72, Zuzana shot 18 in the final as Lesley leapfrogged from 69 with 21 in the final to tie at 90. But in the tie-shoot, Zuzana `killed' the first target, while Lesley settled for the silver.

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