13-member India squad to vie for medals at shotgun World Cup. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Feb 24 : India's Olympic hopeful Angadvir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmed Khan couldn't get the right rhythm in the qualification round of the men skeet event on the opening day of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday, and finished down the ladder.

In the highly competitive field of 40 competitors, Bajwa, 25, started on a promising note by shooting 25 out of a possible 25 in his first series. But the Punjab shooter was off the target in the second series scoring 22 and his performance fell down further in the third as he managed 20 for an overall score of 67 out of 75 to finish 28th.

The Indian team was overall fourth on the opening day of the competition.

Khan's overall score was 70. The seasoned shooter shot a series of 24, 24 and 22, and finished at 21st spot. Gurjoat Khangura, the third Indian in fray, had a slow start, scoring 21 in his opening series, but the 26-year-old propped up his performance with a steadier shooting in the second and third series, having shot 25 and 24, respectively, to finish 19th.

Georgios Achilleos of Cyprus headed a strong field with a score of 73. Top four shooters were bunched together at 73, while the next eight shooters shot 72, indicating that the field was highly competitive.

Both Bajwa and Khan need to have steadier shooting to make an impact in the season-opening World Cup in shotgun.

The Indian women's team wasn't impressive and finished outside the top 20. Karttiki Singh Shaktawat, 19, had a score of 64 in the qualification round. She had a series of 22, 22, and 20. While Parinazz Dhaliwal, 19, shot 62 and was further down the field. She had a series of 19, 23, 20 in the first qualification round. Ganemat Shekhon, the 20-year-old Punjab shooter, shot 62 having a series of 21, 21, and 20.

The second qualification round of 50s shot will take place on Thursday. The qualification round will be followed by the finals.

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