Atanu Das let slip chances in his men’s individual recurve pre-quarterfinal to bow out of contention and draw curtains on India’s fruitless campaign in archery while rifle shooters Gagan Narang and Chain Singh got eliminated in the 50m prone event on yet another dismal day for India in the Rio Olympics.
Shooting amid heavy rain, Atanu went down 4-6 to World No.8 Lee Seung-Yun, who had already helped South Korea win the team gold at the event, by losing two sets and winning one while the rest two ended in ties.
The Indian lost 28-30, 30-28, 27-27, 27-28 28-28 to bring to an end the country’s medal-less campaign.
Women archers Laishram Bombayla Devi, Deepika Kumari and Laxmirani Majhi have already bowed out of contention after losing in both the women’s team and individual events.
Das seemed to lose his nerve on a couple of occasions and missed out on capitalising on positions of strength against the world No.8 Korean who shot a hat-trick of perfect 10s in the opening set.
Atanu responded quite well with three successive 10s of his own to unnerve Lee and draw level in the match by taking the second set. The third set ended up being a tie before Lee nosed ahead by grabbing the fourth set.
In the decisive fifth set, Atanu and Lee were tied 19-19 after the first two shots. Lee managed a 9 off his final arrow and Atanu needed to go one better to take the match into a shoot-off. But Atanu could only strike a 9, which was enough to tie the fifth set 28-28 but insufficient to save the match. The script was no different in another precision sport, shooting, where seasoned Narang and Chain Singh flopped in the prone position of the 50m rifle event.
While Narang, who won the London Games bronze in 10m Air Rifle, signed off 13th with a total score of 623.1, Singh was way down at 36th with a score of 619.6 in the qualification round.
It was particularly disappointing for Narang, who was placed as high as 4th at one stage. However, he bungled the advantage by shooting his poorest in the sixth and final series, which yielded him his lowest score of 102.4. Narang’s series break-up stood at 104.7, 104.4, 104.6, 103.0, 104.0, 102.4 Singh, on the other hand, never seemed to be in the reckoning after losing the plot in his second and fourth series, which fetched him scores of 101 and 102.4. His subsequent efforts at salvaging the situation could not save him from a free-fall on the leaderboard. Singh shot a series of 104.1, 101.0, 104.4, 102.4, 103.9, 103.8.
Narang and Singh will still have a shot at redemption on Sunday, the final day of shooting, when
they take aim in the 50m Rifle 3 Position event.
Jwala-Ashwini knocked out of Olympics
The experienced Indian pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa were on Friday eliminated from the Olympics women’s doubles event after losing their second successive group A clash here.
In a rollercoaster game against the Dutch team of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek, Jwala and Ashwini went down 16-21 21-16 17-21 in a 48-minute clash.
Lying second from bottom in the group standings, Jwala and Ashwini will have just pride to play for when they take on Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Indonesia in their final group clash.
The Indonesians are also win-less so far and are lying bottom of the heap. The Indians, who were distinctly uncoordinated in their opening loss to Japan, gave a better account of themselves in Friday’s match but failed to go for the kill. The opening game was lost in merely 19 minutes but far from being bogged down, Jwala and Ashwini fought back to grab the second with the former being particularly impressive with her stroke-play close to the net.