Gagan Narang failed to replicate the form that fetched him the 10m air rifle bronze as he crashed out of the 50m rifle prone event at the London Olympics but compatriot Joydeep Karmakar kept alive India's hopes by advancing to the finals here today.
Narang, who just four days ago became the country's first medal winner at the London Games, could fire just 593 out of 600 to finish a shocking 18th in a field of 50 competitors and lost a great chance of another podium finish.
However, Karmakar kept India in the hunt by finishing with 595 points and then 51.6 in the shoot off at the Royal Artillery Barracks. Karmakar shot a total of 595 to finish tied fourth with eight others.
Thereafter, at the shoot-off, he scored 51.6 to finish seventh position and earn a berth in the eight-man final to be held later today.
The leader of the qualifying stage, Sergei Martynov of Belarus scored 600 out of 600 to equal both World as well as Olympics record. Narang started with a 98 in the first series but came back strongly by getting two perfect 10s for consecutive 100s in the second and third round and looked all set to make the cut.
However, he misfired and logged a poor 98 and 97 in the next two rounds, which dashed his chances of making the medal round. Inspite of hitting 100 in the sixth and his last round, Narang could finish only behind 17 other shooters.