Jitu Rai crashes out of Olympic shooting final


India’s campaign in the Olympic shooting competition got off on a disappointing note with medal hope Jitu Rai finishing eighth in the men’s 10 metre Air Pistol event.

Jitu produced a string of poor shots for a total score of 78.7 and was the first to be eliminated from the eight-man final.

Playing in his maiden Olympics, Jitu showed signs of nerves right from the qualifying rounds and made it to the final by the skin of his teeth. He continued his nervous performance in the final as well and lagged behind in the early stages and was unable to rise above the last place.

The Naib Subedar from the Indian Army slipped to the eighth and last spot right at the start with a total score of 28.9 points after the first three shots.

He ran into further trouble with a 9.7 in his next shot. The 28-year-old continued to struggle with his next couple of shots as the shooters at the top of the pack continued to churn out consistent above 10 attempts. On the brink of elimination with an overall score of 68.6, Jitu managed a 10.1 but it was not enough to keep him in the competition.

Xuan Vinh Hoang of Vietnam won the gold medal with an overall score of 202.5 points in the final round. Brazil’s Wu Felipe Almeida led the standings right from the start with a string of consistent scores but was upstaged in a nail-biting finish much to the disappointment of the home crowd.

He finished a close second and had to be satisfied with the silver with a total of 202.1 points. Pang Wei of China was a distant third with 180.4 points.

Earlier, Jitu entered the final after finishing sixth in the qualifying stage. He scored a total of 580 points, including 22 10s, after posting rounds of 96, 96, 98, 96, 96, 98. Another Indian shooter in the fray, Gurpreet Singh, finished 20th to miss the finals berth with a score of 576.

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