Joydeep Karmakar narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in the 50m rifle prone event after setting an Olympic record in the qualifying stage at the London Games here today.
In an event where 10m air rifle bronze-medallist Gagan Narang failed to qualify for the finals, Karmakar put his best foot forward to finished fourth with a tally of 699.1, which was 1.9 adrift of bronze medal winner's score of 701.0.
After scoring 595 out of 600 before qualifying for the finals through a shoot-off with eight others, who were all tied in fourth place, the 32-year-old Kolkatan shot consistently well in the finals. But still finished outside the medal bracket. The one point difference that Karmakar conceded to the eventual bronze medallist, Rajmond Debevec of Slovenia, proved to be decisive in the battle for the third place.
Karmakar shot sequence of 10.1, 10.6, 10.7, 10.5, 10.7, 10.2, 10.0, 10.2, 10.7, 10.4 for a total of 104.1, while Debevec fired a 105.0, a difference of less than one. The gold medal went to Sergei Martynov of Belarus, who created a new world record of 705.5 and the silver was picked by Belgian Lionel Cox (701.2).
Earlier today, 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 in the qualifying stage and failed to advance to the finals.
Narang, who just four days ago became the India's first medal winner at the London Games, could fire only 593 out of 600 to finish a shocking 18th in a field of 50 competitors and lost a great chance of another podium finish.
Meanwhile, Vijay Kumar has qualified for the the final of the men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event at the London Games here today.
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