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Shooting WC: Sajjanar fourth, Ghatkar fifth in 10m air rifle

ISSF

India's Pooja Ghatkar and Meghana Sajjanar narrowly missed out on a medal in the 10m air rifle event at the shooting World Cup in Gabala on Thursday. Sajjanar finished fourth after losing a shoot-off while Ghatkar finished fifth.

While Sajjanar shot 205.7 in the final, Ghatkar scored 183.8 and was the fourth shooter to be eliminated in the final. Sajjanar was tied with Singapore's Xian Wei Jasmine Ser after 20 shots in the final but was eliminated after a lower score in the shoot-off. The Chinese duo of Xinyi Peng and Mengyao Shi won gold and silver while Ser got bronze.

Sajjanar qualified for the final after finishing first in the qualification stage with a score of 419.6. Ghatkar finished eighth in the qualification after shooting 416.8.

Ghatkar had won bronze in the same event at the New Delhi World Cup earlier this year. Sajjanar was only appearing in her third World Cup. Apurvi Chandela, who was the third Indian participant, narrowly missed out on a spot in the final after finishing 10th with a score of 416.6

Earlier, India's challenge in the men's 10m air rifle event was restricted to the qualifying stages as the trio of Deepak Kumar, Satyendra Singh and Ravi Kumar finished 25th, 36th and 41st respectively.

Deepak shot a score of 623.3, Satyendra 620.4 and Ravi 620.0. Ravi had earlier made it to two World Cup Finals -- in New Delhi and Munich -- without winning a medal.

In the day's other event, Jitu Rai, Prakash Nanjappa and Amanpreet Singh sailed through their elimination rounds in the men's 50m pistol event and will shoot their qualification round on Friday.

Ghatkar's final appearance in Gabala should confirm her place at the World Cup Finals in New Delhi as she was placed seventh in the qualification rankings prior to Gabala.

The World Cup Finals will have the eight best shooters of the world in each Olympic discipline along with the reigning Olympic and World Championship medallists and wild cards.

The Maharashtra-born Ghatkar had previously won gold in the Asian Air Gun Championship in 2014 and had narrowly missed an Olympic berth at the Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition in January last year. Ghatkar won a bronze but eventually lost the spot to Ayonika Paul, who won silver.

Ghatkar had a consistent run in the World Cups in 2016 as well. While she had two top-four finishes in Baku and Bangkok, she finished 11th and 13th in Rio and Munich respectively.