Indians disappoint again in ISSF World Cup Shotgun skeet qualifiers

Anant Jeet Singh Naruka, the best of the Indian shooters in 42nd place, missed out on qualification by five.

India's marksmen disappointed yet again as they failed to reach the ISSF World Cup Shotgun skeet final in Lahti, Finland on Thursday.

After competing in five rounds, all three Indian shooters were well outside the top six.

Anant Jeet Singh Naruka had a good second day, but left himself too much to do after the opening two rounds on day one.

Naruka moved up from 73rd overnight to 42nd place with a total of 116 points but 121 was the score needed to go into a shoot-out for a place in the final.

After a perfect 25 in his opening round, Mairaj Ahmad Khan fell away on day two with three rounds of 22 seeing him finish in 80th place on 112.

Angad Vir Singh Bajwa shot one better than Khan overall, which saw him to 75th place.

The qualifying six

Italy's Luigi Lodde needed a shoot-out to defeat Eric Delaunay in a thrilling final.

Lodde was perfect in qualifying, becoming the ninth man to hit 125 targets out of 125.

He was three clear of Egypt's Azmy Mehelba, Finnish pair Eetu Kallioinen and Oskari Kossi and Delaunay, with Norway's Jonas Filtvedt taking the last spot in the final on a shoot-out.

The final soon became a battle between Lodde and Delaunay with Mehelba just failing to displace either of them.

The pressure began to tell on both protagonists, both missing two of their last 10 shots as they ended on 55 out of 60.

It went to sudden death with both men hitting their first two clays.

Lodde then repeated the trick in the second set, but Delaunay missed to hand victory to the Italian.

There was consolation for the Frenchman as he won an Olympic quota place for his country with Mehelba also clinching a spot at Tokyo 2020 for Egypt.

Italy's Luigi Lodde beat Eric Delaunay in a shoot-out to take skeet victory at the Lahti ISSF World Cup Shotgun
Italy's Luigi Lodde beat Eric Delaunay in a shoot-out to take skeet victory at the Lahti ISSF World Cup ShotgunItaly's Luigi Lodde beat Eric Delaunay in a shoot-out to take skeet victory at the Lahti ISSF World Cup Shotgun

What next for the Indians?

With the Indian shotgun contingent unable to secure any quota places for Tokyo 2020 at Lahti, their last chance to make the Games comes in November's Asian Championships in Doha, Qatar.

In the rifle and pistol categories, seven Indians have already booked quota spots for the Olympic Games next year, namely Abhishek Verma, Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Manu Bhaker, Rahi Sarnobat, and Saurabh Chaudhary.

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