India’s dismal run continues in Rio (Roundup)

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 12 (IANS) India’s flop show at the 31st Rio Olympics continued on Friday with shuttlers Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa crashing out from the preliminary stages while archer Atanu Das went down fighting as shooter Gagan Narang and shot putter Vikas Gowda also added to the country’s woes here.

Athletes Manpreet Kaur and Jinson Johnson also added to the disappointment after failing in their respective disciplines as shooter Chain Singh finished a disappointing 36th to negate his chances for 50 metre Rifle Prone finals.

Starting the day, Atanu crashed out of the men’s Individual 1/8 Eliminations to end India’s campaign in archery at Rio.

The 24-year-old from Bengal fought valiantly, but ultimately went down 4-6 (28-30, 30-28, 27-27, 27-28, 28-28) to South Korea’s Seungyun Lee.

It was a neck-and-neck contest at the Sambodromo that began brightly for Atanu, who scored a perfect 10 in the first set, before being overpowered by Lee who hit three consecutive perfect 10s in the first set to take a two-point lead.

Atanu responded strongly with three straight 10s of his own to take the second set 30-28 and square the contest at 2-2 before squaring off the third set.

Atanu flinched just once, in the fourth set, to go down 27-28. That single point proved to be fatal as both archers hit one 10-pointer in the fifth and final set to square it 28-28, allowing Lee to claim the match by the narrowest of margins.

India then received another jolt as medal hope shooter Gagan Narang along with Chain Singh failed to reach the finals of the men’s 50 metres Rifle Prone competition.

Narang, a bronze medallist in the 2012 Games in the 10 metres Air Rifle, finished 13th in the qualification with a total of 623.1 points.

The 33-year-old scored 104.7, 104.4, 104.6, 103.0, 104.0 and 102.4 in the six series.

Chain finished 36th with a total of 619.6 points. Chain posted scores of 104.1, 101.0, 104.4, 102.4, 103.9, 103.8 over six series.

As the action shifted to the badminton court, the women’s doubles combo of Jwala and Ashwini once again failed in their second Group A match to bow out of the Games.

The Indian duo suffered a 16-21, 21-16, 17-21 defeat against the Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in a contest that lasted more than one hour at the Riocentro arena.

The mood was further dampened after athlete Manpreet Kaur failed to get past the women’s Shot Put qualifying round.

The qualifying mark for the 18 shot putters in Group B was to achieve a throw of 18.40 metres or at least the 12 best performers advanced to the final round.

Manpreet scored 16.68 metres in her first attempt and improved to 17.06 metres in her second attempt. She secured only 16.76m in her third attempt to finish a disappointing 23rd at the Olympic Stadium.

Another athlete Jinson Johnson’s campaign at the Rio Olympics ended after he finished fifth in the qualification round of the men’s 800 metres Heat 3 at the Olympic Stadium. The Kerala athlete clocked 1:47.27 minute to cover the distance.

More disappointment was in store for the Indian contingent as medal hope discus thrower Vikas Gowda failed to qualify in the qualifying round, securing the 28th position among 35 athletes.

The qualifying mark for the 18 shot putters in Group B was to achieve a throw of 65.50 metres or at least the 12 best performers advanced to the final round.

Gowda threw 57.59 metres and only 58.99 in his first attempt at the Olympic Stadium. The 33-year-old only managed a paltry 58.70m throw in his third attempt, which was way below the desired mark.

–IANS

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