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Bindra qualifies for Olympics

NEW DELHI: World and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra qualified for the London Olympics as he won one of the three quota places on offer in the men's air rifle in a strong field of 128 in the shooting World Cup in Munich on Saturday.

Though Bindra finished eighth eventually, he had to go through a tricky shoot-off for three spots in the final in a group of nine on being tied at 596 after qualification. Bindra showed his class with a score of 52.6, the second best in the shoot-off, to make the final which ensured him an Olympic berth as six of the eight finalists had already won the quota.

With the purpose being achieved, the final was only of academic interest for Bindra as he notched up a total of 100.7 following a sequence of 9.3, 9.8,10.4, 10.5, 10.2, 10.1, 10.2, 10.0, 10.5 and 9.7. He had shot 99, 99, 99, 100, 99 and 100 in the qualification phase.

With Bindra's qualification, India has taken its tally to eight quota places in shooting for London Olympics.

In women's air rifle, Ayonika Paul was 33rd with 395 in a field of 141. Anjali Bhagwat (393) and Kavitha Yadav (388) finished 69th and108th respectively.

The results: Men: Air rifle: 1. Zhu Qinan (Chn) 703.0 (599); 2. Wang Tao (Chn) 701.5 (598); 3. Jozef Gonci (Svk) 699.8 (599); 8. Abhinav Bindra 696.7 (596); 38. Satyendra Singh 593; 77. Gagan Narang 589 .

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