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Vitalina Batsarashkina wins air pistol gold for ROC as Manu, Yashaswini bow out in qualification

Tokyo : Vitalina Batsarashkina, representing the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team since Russia is banned, won the women’s 10m air pistol gold with an Olympic record of 240.3 points, even as Indian shooters — Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Singh Deswal — failed to qualify for the finals, finishing 12th and 13th respectively on the second day of the Olympic Games here on Sunday.Veteran Antoaneta Kostadinova of Bulgaria, who held a 0.9-point advantage before the two final shots, had to settle for the silver, scoring a sub-par 9.0 points in her last shot. China’s Jiang Ranxin took the bronze.Earlier, the eight who made it to the finals included, Jiang Ranxin of China (587 points), Anna Korakaki (Greece, 585), Vitalina Batsarashkina (ROC, 582), Lin Yuemei (579, China), Mathilde Lamolle (578, France), Antoaneta Kostadinova (578, Bulgaria), Olena Kostevych (577, Ukraine) and Celine Goberville (577, France).India’s challenge in the event ended with Manu suffering a weapon malfunction in the second series during qualification which saw her scores go down, while 24-year-old Yashaswini was good in patches on Sunday.While the 19-year-old Manu had a qualification score of 575/600, the 24-year-old Yashaswini scored 574.The Jhajjar-born Manu looked in great touch in the first series, shooting a superb 98, but a weapon malfunction in the second series — which cost her five minutes – broke her rhythm and she had a poor second series of 95.
Desperately trying to make up for lost time, Manu shot a 94 in the third series, which saw her slump to ninth position after the third series from the high of a third place after the first series.The third consecutive poor series (95 in the fourth series) pushed her further down, but the Youth Olympic Games and Commonwealth champion, made a desperate attempt to claw back in the fifth series with a 98, embellished with eight perfect 10s.The Indian was on the brink of qualification in ninth spot in the sixth and final series, and another score of 10 on the last shot could have pitchforked her into the finals comprising of top-eight shooters, but pressure got to her and she had a rank bad final shot of 8, which cost her a place among the top-8 in her maiden Olympic appearance.Yashaswini Deswal, also making her Olympic debut, showed glimpses of brilliance but was largely inconsistent, starting with a patchy 94 with only four 10s in the first series. But her recovery was quick in the second series of 10 shots as she scored 98 with the help of seven consecutive 10s.But inconsistencies continued to plague her all through the qualification, having another poor series of 94, with two rank bad shots of eight. The Delhi-born girl took the lead over Manu Bhaker briefly during the fifth series but inexperience at the highest level showed and the Indian challenge ended in what was being touted as another strong medal hope for the country.
Qualification scores (Indians)
Manu Bhaker (12th) 575 – 98, 95, 94, 95, 98, 95.
Yashawini Deswal (13th) 574 – 94, 98, 94, 97, 96, 95.



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