The men’s 50m pistol event has become a crucial event for all the Indian fans as the medal hopes have shifted onto Jitu Rai. The event will mark the fifth day of the Rio Olympic Games. The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) does not have a similar event for women. The event comprises of men athletes competing in two rounds – qualification round and final round.
The qualification round of the pistol event will feature a total of 40 shooters who will compete to get into the final round if they finish inside the top-8 ranked shooters. Here is everything you need to know about the event:
Channel: Star Sports Network
Date and Time: Wednesday, 10 August 2016 – 12:00 GMT (17:30 IST)
Venue: National Shooting Centre, Deodoro, Rio De Janeiro.
Jitu Rai: The 29-year old shooter could not handle all the pressure of an Olympic Games final round match in his first event at the Games as he was eliminated in the final round of the 10m air pistol event. But hopes of a medal from the shooter are still sky high. He will go into the 50m pistol event as the third-ranked shooter in the world and will be expected to weave his magic.
Rai comes on the back of winning the gold medal in this event at the 2016 ISSF World Cup held in Bangkok. The shooter has also finished at the 4th and 6th spot in the ISSF World Cups held in 2016 in Munich and Rio De Janeiro respectively. He has been the number one ranked shooter, has won the ISSF World Cup, but can he finally win the elusive Olympic medal today? We will find out tonight.
Prakash Nanjappa: Prakash Nanjappa, on the other hand, has been the dark horse for India in the 50m pistol event. The 40-year old shooter had been struck with paralysis in 2013 but made a strong comeback to aim for the podium at Rio 2016. He will be getting his chance tonight, but his 28th rank in the world does not make him as a favourite to win.
The shooter’s best finish in this event has been a silver medal win at the Asian Championships in 2013 where he scored an impressive 190.5 points in the final round. However, Nanjappa has been unable to qualify for the final round in this year’s ISSF events and that might deter his chances of qualification tonight.
Shooters to watch out for:
Pang Wei (China): China’s Pang Wei showed why he is one of the most dangerous competitors in pistol shooting when he won the bronze medal at the 10m air pistol event in Rio. He will aim for a podium finish yet again after he missed out on the gold medal and the 50m pistol event will suit him well in achieving his aim. The 30-year old shooter will want to peak at the right time to make sure he has adjusted between the two events.
Jin Jong-Oh (South Korea): Jin Jong-Oh is the undisputed champion of the 10m air pistol event but the Korean has also been successful in the 50m pistol event. The 36-year old will be gunning for his third consecutive gold medal in the 50m pistol event but his chances look bleak after the shooter had finished at the fifth spot in his earlier event. He will want to make sure that he does not miss out on the podium finish, but younger shooters have been getting the accolades in Rio.
Felipe Almeida Wu (Brazil): The young Brazilian surprised everyone as he was in line to win the gold medal in the men’s 10m air pistol event but had to settle for silver in the end. The shooter will be one of the biggest medal hopes for the host nation in shooting when he takes to the shooting range later tonight. However, Wu is not famous for his exploits in this event and is currently ranked at the 50th spot in the world.