Bhounis Mendiratta placed first in India’s shooting quota for the Paris 2024 Olympics after placing fourth in the men’s trap shooting event at the ongoing ISSF Shotgun World Championships in Osijek, Croatia.

Mendiratta nearly missed out on a World Championship medal in the process, being the first to lose 13 of the first 15 hits in a 35-shot medal match.

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Four quota spots were up for grabs that day in both the men’s and women’s trap competitions.

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The 23-year-old world number 144 (prior to the final) from Faridabad secured the country’s quota for the Paris Olympics after he led the second ranking round match with a brilliant 24 out of 25 hits.

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It was a superb effort by Mendiratta, whose only senior world stage medal before was a team silver at the World Championships in Changwon earlier in the year.

Earlier in the day, he completed his final qualifying round with a perfect 25/25 to finish with a score of 121. He eventually qualified fourth, coming second in a four-way shootout to determine the final qualifying positions.

Eight shooters advanced to two ranking rounds out of 154 players. For the seventh and eighth places, a shootout with 11 participants was played out.

Mendiratta lined up with Derrick Maine of the United States, World No. 3 of Great Britain Aaron Heading and Qatari R. H. Al-Altba in the second ranking round match. Main finished second and Al-Atba and Heding finished sixth and eighth in qualifying respectively.

Headline was the first to hit 11 targets out of the first 15. Mayne was ahead with 15 clean hits and Mendiratta was second with 14 hits. At that time, Al-Atba had 12 hits on his name.

With a quota spot on the line, Mendiratta hit 10 in a row to lead the round and secure the quota. Mine missed the last three targets to get into a shootout with Al Atba, which he won on the first shot to get through.

They were joined in the final by Britain’s Nathan Hales and Kun Pi-Yang of Chinese Taipei, who led the qualifying round with 123 points. Hales won the first ranking round, with Yang finishing in second place.

Mendiratta also had a brilliant start in the final, but missed in the deciding series of five shots. Mayne won the gold with 33 hits and Hales won the silver with 31 hits. Jan lost the 25-shot stage with 23 hits. All three medalists also took three other places in the quota for their countries.

Among other Indians, the seasoned Prithviraj Tondaiman nearly missed at least a series of shootouts to get into the ranking round, scoring 119 shots to eventually finish 22nd. The last two points that advanced to the ranking rounds were 120. Vivaan Kapoor dropped to 119th with a score of 107.

India did not have much success in the women’s trap with Neeru placing 29th with 111, Shreyasi Singh 35th with 110 and Manisha Kir placing 61st overall with 102 hits after five rounds with 25 qualifying shots .

Carole Cormenier of France won gold in this event. France, Spain, Slovakia and Australia received quotas for the Paris Olympics.

India is currently ranked fourth on the medal list with one gold medal to their name.