New Delhi, Oct 28 (PTI) Manu Bhaker secured the 11th Paris Olympics quota place for the country after finishing fifth in women's 25m sports pistol at the Asian Shooting Championships in Changwon, Korea on Saturday.
One of the most recognisable faces in Indian shooting, Manu, who had also secured the quota for the 2022 Tokyo Olympics, shot 24 in the final, bowing out in a shoot-off to miss out on another international medal.
Iran's Haniyeh Rostamiyan finished second, spoiling a Chinese clean sweep as the shooting sport powerhouse took all the spots from one to four.
But China could claim only one Paris quota spot and Haniyeh had already secured one earlier, so Manu, despite finishing fifth, clinched a Paris berth for India.
Manu fought brilliantly and was in contention for a top-two finish for most of the contest before a score of two and three in the seventh and eighth series saw her go into a shoot-off with Zhao Nan of China for fourth position.
She missed out on a medal but bagged the prized Olympic quota.
"The aim was obviously the quota place, because there are few chances left to win them after this. So, yes, I am happy that I have won the quota but a podium finish would have been better.
"I have been working on a few improvements and I feel I am on the right track but will need to work even harder from here,” said Manu after her event.
Manu is the second shooter after 10m air pistol marksman Sarabjot Singh to clinch an Olympic quota in the pistol events.
India has so far won seven quota places in rifle events and two each in shotgun and pistol in men's and women's sections.
Manu, coached by legendary marksman Jaspal Rana, had competed in 10m air pistol and 25m sports pistol at the 2022 Tokyo Olympics but a pistol malfunction in the former event had cost her a place in the eight-shooter finals.
On Saturday, she topped the qualification stage with a strong 591 even as teammates Esha Singh and Rhythm Sangwan finished 17th and 23rd with scores of 579 and 576 respectively.
India picked up four more medals, all silver, on the day, as Manu, Esha and Rhythm were placed second in the 25m pistol team event, while Divyansh Singh Panwar and Ramita Jindal, in 10m air rifle mixed team, also lost out 12-16 to a Chinese pair in their gold medal match.
Divyansh and Ramita had also shot well to top their qualification round with a combined score of 631.1.
Simranpreet Kaur Brar won two silver medals in the junior women's 25m pistol.
She paired up with Megana Sadula and Tejaswini to win the team competition with a combined total of 1728 to finish behind China. She then shot 28 in the final to finish behind gold-medal winner Liang Xiaoya of China in the individual final. PTI AM AM ATK ATK