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"Time to call it a disaster" - Shooters Manu Bhaker & Saurabh Chaudhury fail together

Shooters Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhury fail to bring a medal for India together at the Tokyo Olympics. Former shooter Joydeep Karmakar calls it a disaster.

Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker at Tokyo Olympics

Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker (Getty Images)


Md Imtiaz

Updated: 27 July 2021 7:32 AM GMT

Tragedy struck for India on Day 4 of the Tokyo Olympics. Hailed as the brightest prospect for a gold medal in shooting, Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chowdhury finished seventh in the qualification stage 2 of the Mixed 10m Air Pistol event on Tuesday.

The duo who had topped the qualification stage 1, faltered in the final moments of stage 2, which denied their chances even to qualify for the bronze medal match.

Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhury's score sheet in Qualification Stage 2
It is being deemed now as the biggest disaster of the Tokyo Games. The Bridge spoke to former shooter and Olympian Joydeep Karmakar, who rued saying, "Now I can call it a disaster... It was the most promising event since day 1, and any individual medals were bonuses. I also mentioned earlier that if this team fails to bring at least two medals, we have to call it a disaster."
Joydeep Karmakar (Source: NRAI)
"I would not blame luck for this disaster, but everything that will come after this would have some luck in it. You cannot say Manu and Saurabh's performances as luck. This was supposed to be a sheer performance as they have performed in competitions and brought success."
The Indian pairs of Elavenil Valarivan, Divyansh Singh Panwar and Deepak Kumar, Anjum Moudgil will now vie for the medal in the Mixed 10m Air Rifle event later today. Karmakar still puts his faith in them.
"I would hope from the rifle shooter. But the way they are shooting, there's still a big gap. It's time to diss the World No. 1 and World No. 2 theory. Many people were riding on it and I don't know why. The ranking started in January 2021 and in the first World Cup in March, most of the big teams weren't playing. In 2019, Manu and Saurabh defeated the Chinese and Russians, and that's why all the hopes around them were calculated," Karmakar voiced straightforwardly.
"Saurabh showed his class, he was absolutely brilliant. I still think he is still the best in the world. But how can Manu choke at this level? It is unacceptable. When it was required to shoot 10, she wasn't even shooting 9s, but 8s!"
Karmakar concluded, "It is time for introspection for the shooting team. They are talented, but they need to stop and not go overboard about their confidence. If results don't come in Olympics, it boils down to nothing. They need to work on their mental aspect. Another revamp, maybe. It is not only about shooters. It is also about coaches and everybody behind it."
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