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Rathore, Jung fail to make final cut

Last updated on: August 12, 2008 12:33 IST

Athens Olympics silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore failed to make it to the final of the double trap shooting event at the Beijing Olympics on Tuesday.

Seen as a strong medal contender for India, Rathore shot a series of 43,45,43,131 to finish 12th among 19 shooters in qualification.

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Struggling for form in the run-up to the Games, the army shooter's score of 131 was just not enough in a qualifying round that saw Italian Francesco D Aniello finish at the top of the heap with a total of 141.

Even gold medallist Abhinav Bindra's presence at the venue was of little help as Rathore struggled to read targets. His score of 131 was not enough to reach the business end of the event to stay in medal contention.

The top six shooters from a 19-man field made it to the final. Rathore finished 15th overall.

Rathore had a poor first round, scoring 43, before a 45 in the second.

An exceptional third round could have seen him through, but Rathore started well, shooting down the first eight pairs of birds, before running into a wretched stretch midway through the third round.

"I did not read the targets too well and paid the price. I worked hard for the last four years but things just did not go my way today," Rathore rued.

"I have not been in the best of form of late but I think my score was enough to reach the final at least. It was a difficult day but I shot well. In fact, there were quite a few brilliant shots.

"If there was a problem, it was in reading the targets. Trap shooting all depends on anticipation and therein things went wrong. That it was not easy for all the shooters can be gauged from the relatively low scores," added the shooter.

Though a billion hopes rested on his shoulders, especially after his silver medal-winning feat at the Athens Games, Rathore did not blame the setback on the pressure of expectations.

"I was in no way affected by an pressure. To be honest, pressure rather helped me stay focused. The last two months I did not score very high but I think I should have at least made it to the final," he rued.

Earlier, Samresh Jung's woeful form in the Olympics continued and he failed to make the 50m pistol final, finishing a disappointing 42nd in the qualification round on Tuesday.

Jung, a multiple gold medallist from the 2006 Commonwealth Games, shot a series of 88,92,91,86,90,93 to average 9.0 that ruled him out of contention. He earlier missed the cut for the 10m air pistol event final.

Meanwhile, China's Zongliang Tan qualified first for the event, shooting a series of 96,94,93,96,90,96 to average 9.417.