Kynan Chenai (picture below) gave himself an advance birthday gift by securing a quota place for the Rio Olympics but London Games silver medallist Vijay Kumar's hopes of earning a berth went up in smoke at the Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition for shooting, in New Delhi on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Kynan registered the best day of his short career when he battled all odds to finish fourth and grab one of the four quotas available in men's trap event on day two of the event at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Ranges.
Kynan's turns 25 on Friday. He qualified for the strong six-man finals field shooting a score of 120 (47/50 on Wednesday and 73/75 Thursday).
In the final rounds, Kynan tied with three others after the first 15 shots with a score of 12 to reach the semi-finals stage, thereby assuring the 10th quota for India from shooting.
In the bronze medal shoot-off with Kuwait’s Talal Al-Rashidi, competing as an International Shooting Participant (IPS) since his country is under IOC suspension for government interference, Kynan missed two of his 15 shots to his opponent’s one.
Another International shooting Participant Abdulrahman Al Faihan won the gold medal in the trap event and Chinese Taipei’s Yang Kun-Pi bagged the silver. The other three quotas in the event went to Kuwait, Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan respectively.
In the men's 25m rapid fire pistol event, Vijay saw his dreams of securing a quota for Rio fade away after having qualified for the finals with a top score of 576 in qualifying.
In the six-man final where he had to beat Qatari Oleg Engachev and one out of two Japanese shooters to ensure a quota, Vijay became the second shooter to be eliminated finishing fifth as a result.
The two quotas in the event were bagged by gold medallist Teruyoshi Akiyama and bronze winner Eita Mori of Japan. Korea's Yong Hoo Choi clinched the silver. Korea could not claim quotas in this event as they had already exhausted their share in earlier competitions.
However, Manavjit Singh Sandhu could not clear the qualification hurdle in men’s trap and the former world and six-time Asian champion will now have to put up a better performance in the selection trials starting on February 6.