Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Palak Gulia bags 20th Paris Olympics quota place for India in shooting

Reigning Asian Games champion Palak Gulia, bagged India’s 20th Paris Olympics quota place in Shooting, winning bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Final Olympic Qualification Championship Rifle / Pistol in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The teenager overcame a wobbly start in the 24-shot final, displaying nerves of steel to climb steadily up the leaderboard and eventually end with 217.6, bowing out after the 22nd shot. Armenia’s Elmira Karapetyan won gold, while Thai teenager Kamonlak Saencha won silver and the second available quota place.

Palak and Sainyam had qualified for the eight-woman final on Saturday. Save Karpetyan, who had already booked her quota in earlier competitions, all other finalists could claim the available quotas.

Both Indians had a start to forget but came back admirably under pressure as Saencha and the experienced Veronika Major of Hungary threatened to pull away from the field in the early stages with some sublime shooting. Saencha’s 10.9 for her 13th was a case in point.

Palak and Sainyam were both struggling to get above fifth, but eliminations proved a disaster for Major as Palak and Sainyam too, to an extent, got stronger. Ahead of the 19th, Palak took a 0.6 lead over Major with Sainyam exiting in fifth.

The Hungarian could not hit the 10-ring as the Indian did once and sealed the quota place. Karpetyan (240.7) clinched it in the final shot as Saencha (240.5) crumbled with an 8.6. (ANI)

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