Abhinav Bindra and Jitu Rai have maxed out reaching finals, archers have gone out despite a month-long prep stay in Rio and almost driving them out into isolation. Yet, doubts remain on their mental preparedness for the precision events, as well as peak physical fitness for both shooters and archers. A strong body aids concentration, keeps mental fatigue at bay, and as such not all Indians have been known to be in top shape going into Rio.
India’s other big man, discus dude, Vikas Gowda also ended with a whimper, and Shiva Thapa – considered a big medal hope, before the draw pit him against the Cuban champ, went down with much of a fightback. Men’s doubles pairing of Leander Paes – Rohan Bopanna couldn’t do much, and it meant it’s down to Yogeshwar Dutt and Saina Nehwal among the former medallists to step up.
India’s most talented shooter who read conditions on the range like gentle beasts sniffed out infrasonic hertz, Gagan Narang was prepared for the winds.
But he didn’t regain his rhythm for the last five shots and crashed out on 623.1. He’d seen the comfortable perch of 4th, but things never really settle in shooting until the last shot and he would hang on desperately to the top-8 and then drop down, with a resurgence never kicking in, as it ought to have for the pro.
Narang who medalled in 10 m air rifle to kickstart medals at London, couldn’t work the same magic or crack the level of efficiency this time around.
In its first week, India remains medal-less and miserable.