Bhowneesh narrowly missed a world championship medal in the process, being the first to retire with 13 of 15 first hits in the 35-stroke medal game.
India’s #BhowneeshMendiratta secures India’s top quota spot at @Paris2024 in #Shooting by qualifying for the final… https://t.co/ZBoiaX1HJw
—NRAI (@OfficialNRAI) 1664374390000
There were four quota spots each up for grabs in the day’s men’s and women’s trapping events.
The 23-year-old world number 144 (before the final) from Faridabad, however, secured the Paris Olympics quota for the country after topping the second round game with a brilliant 24 of 25 hits.
It was a great effort from the young Indian, whose only senior medal on the world stage before that was a team silver medal at the World Cup in Changwon earlier in the year.
Earlier in the day he finished his final round of qualifying with a perfect 25/25 to finish with a score of 121. He eventually qualified fourth after finishing second in a four-way shoot-off to decide qualifying positions finals.
Eight shooters qualified for the two classification rounds among the 154 participants. For seventh and eighth place, there was a shootout at 11.
Bhowneesh lined up world number three American Derrick Mein, Briton Aaron Heading and Qatari RH Al-Althba in the second round match. Derrick Mein had finished second, while Al-Athba and Heading were sixth and eighth respectively in qualifying.
Heading was the first to retire, hitting 11 of the first 15 targets. American Mein led with 15 hits while Bhowneesh was second with 14 hits. Qatar’s Al-Athba had 12 hits to his name at this point.
With the quota spot on the line, the Indian fired out of his skin and then hit 10 consecutive targets to finish top of the set and seal the quota.
Mein missed his last three targets to go into a shootout with Al-Athba, which he won on the first shootout to qualify.
They were joined in the final by Britain’s Nathan Hales and Chinese Taipei’s Kun Pi-Yang who had topped the qualifying round with a score of 123. Hales won the first seeding round while Yang came second.
The Indian also started brightly in the final but missed a crucial bird in the final set of five shots to miss a medal. American Mein won gold with 33 hits, while Hales won silver with 31. Yang retired at the 25-hit stage with 23 hits. The three medalists also clinched the other three quota spots for their country.
Among the other Indians, the experienced Prithviraj Tondaiman narrowly missed making at least the shootout to qualify for the classification round, shooting 119 to finish 22nd eventually. The last two scores to qualify for the ranking rounds were 120. Vivaan Kapoor was further back in 119th position with a score of 107.
India didn’t make much progress in the women’s trap with Neeru finishing 29th with a score of 111, Shreyasi Singh 35th with 110 and Manisha Keer finished 61st overall with 102 hits to his name, after all five 25-hit rounds in qualifying.
Carole Cormenier of France won gold in this event. France, Spain, Slovakia and Australia have recovered the quotas for the Paris Olympics.
India is currently ranked fourth in the medal standings with a gold medal to their credit.