American marksman William Shaner won the gold medal in men’s 10m air rifle with a new Olympic record score, as India’s world No. 2 Divyansh Singh Panwar and world No. 9 Deepak Kumar had a dismal outing, finishing 32nd and 26th respectively in the qualification stage of the event at the Asaka Shooting Range on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Shaner set an Olympic record of 251.6 points, beating the Chinese duo of Sheng Lihao and Yang Haoran, who claimed silver and bronze respectively.
Yang, who did not qualify for the final at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was the top finisher in the qualification with an Olympic record of 632.7 points.
Shaking off a slow start in the final, he was unable to surpass his 16-year-old teammate Sheng, who shot for 250.9 points, including a 10.8 final shot.
The eight shooters who made it to the finals included, Yang Haoran (632.7, China), Lucas Kozeniesky (631.5, USA), William Shaner (630.8, USA), Patrik Jany (630.5, Slovakia), Omer Akgun (629.8, Turkey), Vladimir Maslennikov (629.8, ROC), Istvan Peni (629.4, Hungary), Sheng Lihao (629.2, China).
Earlier, Indian Divyansh Panwar and Deepak Kumar continued a disappointing run for shooters, failing to qualify for the final. Ranked world No. 2 and No. 9 in the event, Panwar and Deepak were making their Olympic Games debut.
Deepak finished at 26th position with a score of 624.7, while Panwar ended with a score of 622.8 at the 32nd spot in the qualification stage of the event at the Asaka Shooting Range.
Deepak and Panwar were forced to play catch-up after shooting low scores in the first two series. But it was never enough for the duo to make it into the top eight.
The 18-year-old Panwar shot a nervy 102.7 in the first series, ending with a low 9.7. He improved to 103.7 in the second series. Deepak , on the other hand, had scores of low 10s to shoot 102.9 in the first series and 103.8 in the second series.
Panwar’s struggles had no end in the third series. At the start of the series, he shot 9.9, 9.7 and 9.9 but recovered to shoot 103.6. Panwar managed to get 104.6 in both fourth and fifth series before shooting 103.6 in the final series.
Deepak, lifting himself from four places in the bottom of the pile, shot 105.2 in the fourth series before slumping to 103.8 in the fifth series. The 33-year-old finished with 105.3 in the sixth series. But it was too late by then.
The event saw some high-class action from the top-four shooters, who went past the Olympics qualification record of 630.2 set by Niccolo Campriani of Italy at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Haoran Yang of China topped the chart with 632.7, followed by Lucas Kozeniesky and William Shaner of USA with 631.5 and 630.8 respectively. Patrik Jany of Slovakia was fourth with 630.5.