London: Army marksman Vijay Kumar gave India the second medal from the Royal Artillery Barracks by winning silver in the men’s 25-metre rapid fire pistol event of the 2012 London Olympics here on Friday.
Leuris Pupo kept his cool to win Cuba’s first gold of the Olympics. Pupo scored 34 to edge out India’s Kumar, who took silver with 30.
China’s Ding Feng won bronze after losing out to Kumar by one point in the final elimination round.
Russia’s Alexei Klimov had set a new world record of 592 in qualifying, but struggled in the final after two low-scoring rounds early on, and eventually finished fourth after failing to make it into the final two medal rounds.
India’s rifle shooter Gagan Narang had won the bronze medal in the men’s 10 metre air rifle event here on Monday.
Vijay is also the second Indian after double trap shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to win an Olympic silver medal. Rathore won the maiden Olympic silver for India in 2004 Athens.
Fellow shooter Joydeep Karmakar narrowly missed out on another medal as he finished fourth in the men’s 50m rifle prone event. He scored 699.1 in the final, just 1.9 short of bronze medallist Rajmond Debevec of Slovenia.
“I had to compete under lot of pressure. It was my maiden Olympics. The field was also very tough. All top shooters were there,” said Karmakar after his event.
Elsewhere, India’s athletics campaign began on a disappointing note with shot putter Om Prakash Karhana and triple jumper Mayookha Johny failing to advance to the final round after finishing 19th and 22nd, respectively, in their qualifiers.
Both Om Prakash and Mayookha failed to rise to the occasion as they came up with below-par performances, much below their personal best, on the first day of the blue riband event.
Om Prakash, who trained for nearly two years at Szombathely in Hungary in the build-up to the Olympics, threw the 7.26kg iron ball to a distance of 19.86m, which placed him 10th in Group B and 19th overall. His personal best is the national record 20.69m, which he recorded in May at his training base.
India’s sole woman triple jumper Johny crashed out of the Games, failing to qualify for the finals with a disappointing 13th place finish in Group B. The Indian finished a dismal 22nd overall with a best effort of 13.77 metres, which she got in her first attempt at the Olympic Stadium.
Meanwhile, a jittery India crashed to a 5-2 defeat against Germany for their third straight reverse in Group B of the Olympic men’s hockey competition.
The Germans, while recording their third consecutive win, gave a fine exhibition of their efficiency based on strong basics. The Indians, after an enthusiastic 15 minutes at the start, simply caved in under the pressure.
India’s goals came from Ramachandra Raghunath, whose 14th minute drag-flick got deflected into the net, and Tushar Khandkar (62nd).