Bindra's shot reaches Olympics, misses World Cup target
New Delhi: Despite a lacklustre performance in the 10m air rifle event of the Shooting World Cup in Munich, Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra today qualified for next year's London Games.
Bindra, India's first individual Olympic gold medallist, shot a qualification score of 596, which left him tied with eight others but he managed to sneak into the finals by managing a score of 52.6 in the shoot-off.
The Indian eventually finished eighth with a total of 646.2 (596+50.2) but clinched a London Olympics quota place as the top six finishers in today's event had already booked their berths in previous qualifying events.
"Since at least six shooters above him had already qualified, the quota place went to Abhinav as per rules," National Rifles Association secretary Rajiv Bhatia said.
The gold in the event went to China's Qinan Zhu (651) while the silver was clinched by his compatriot Tao Wang (649.5). Slovakia's Jozef Gonci (649.3) settled for the bronze medal.
890 shooters from 86 countries are competing in the 2011 Rifle and Pistol World Cup Stage at the 1972 Olympic Shooting Range in Munich.
This is one of the final chances to qualify for the 2012 London Games, before the continental championships.
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Seiko Hashimoto, who became the Tokyo 2020 president last week, told Japanese media the Games should have spectators just like other major sports hosting events before fans, although in limited numbers.
Australia, Queensland and Brisbane have government leaders who back the bid and do not face re-election this year. It made now a good time to strike.
The qualifier was due to take place in Paris in June, but coronavirus travel restrictions and the rescheduling of the final European qualifier from April to June have forced the organisers to pull the plug.