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Asian Games: 'Scoring error' costs shooter Bindra

Abhinav Bindra
Abhinav Bindra missed out on an Asian Games medal due to a "scoring error"

By Mukesh Sharma
BBC Hindi service in Guangzhou

From Olympic glory to the controversial end of a dream, India's ace shooter Abhinav Bindra has experienced both in China.

After winning gold in Beijing in 2008, his challenge at the Asian Games, being held in Guangzhou, was ended by a "scoring error".

In his attempt to qualify for the final of the 10m air rifle event, one of Bindra's shots showed a score of seven.

He claimed it was a scoring error and that his shot was no less than a nine.

However, Bindra's performance did help India win the silver in the team event after compatriot Gagan Narang secured second place and Sanjeev Rajput finished ninth.

Region: Punjab, India
Born: 1982
Discipline: Shooting
Career highlights: India's first individual gold medal, 10m rifle shooting, Beijing Olympics 2008

Bindra's 42nd of the 60 preliminary shots appeared to score nine points but only registered as a seven. After conferring with his Kazakh coach Stanislav Lapidus, Bindra decided not to challenge the score.

Had his appeal been rejected he would have faced a two point penalty, which would also have jeopardised India's team score.

From that point, Bindra was under added pressure to shoot perfect scores to seal his place in the individual finals. Of the remaining 18 shots, he managed 16 perfect tens.

The score was not sufficient to qualify outright for the final though and he was forced to take part in a five-man tie-breaker. Unfortunately for him, Bindra shot poorly, finishing fifth and therefore unable to progress to the final.

The event was won by China's 2002 Olympic champion Zhu Qinan, who openly wept after losing to Bindra at the Beijing Olympics.

I was not sure and I haven't faced such a situation before so I didn't know what to do
Abhinav Bindra

Speaking to the BBC after the event, Bindra said, "I missed three points in one shot which was simple bad luck for me but that's how things go and that's how sport is."

He maintained that it was a scoring error but that he decided not to protest, "I was not sure and I haven't faced such a situation before so I didn't know what to do."

Coach, Stanislav Lapidus, believes the incident had a crucial impact on Bindra's performance in the shoot-off.

"He had the team's interest in his mind when he took the decision. And later that affected his concentration [during the shoot-off for the final's qualifying places]. Anybody would be affected. He lost his focus," he said.

This season hasn't been great for Bindra as he also missed the individual gold at the Commonwealth Games. He did however manage to win the pairs gold for India there with fellow shooting sensation Gagan Narang.

Now Bindra wants to concentrate on the future: "I'll go back home and start training for the next season. Hopefully it will be a better season next time."

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see also
Indian sport moves beyond cricket
14 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Indian shooter Bindra's sporting education
11 Oct 10 |  World Olympic Dreams
India's Narang denies Bindra gold
06 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Shooters win India's first golds
05 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Bindra targets London 2012
26 Jul 10 |  World Olympic Dreams

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