Major shooting medal hope, Ronjan Sodhi, flopped and failed to qualify for the finals of the men's double trap event to strike a big blow for Indian hopes at the Olympic Games on Thursday.
In the qualifying rounds, former world no. 1 from Ferozepur, fired 134 out of 150 to finish a shocking 11th out of 24 competitors and crashed out of the competition in which the top six sailed into the finals to be held later today.
Sodhi, who won the gold in the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou, started encouragingly to tally 48 out of 50 in the first round before he began misfiring and logged a poor 44 and 42 in the next two rounds that dashed his hopes.
"I just don't know what happened," a shocked Sodhi told reporters after his qualification round got over.
The world No. 10 admitted that this was easily his worst performance in the international arena in the last few years.
"I have never shot so badly. I have not dropped so many shots in the last round. But I guess there was some technical problem, which I need to analyse."
32-year-old Sodhi, however, refused to agree that his performance was related to the stage fright that top Indian athletes have suffered over the years during their participation at the quadrennial extravaganza.
"People talk about pressure in the Olympics but I did well in the first round. If I had continued in the same manner, I could have made the finals," lamented the shooter.
"Till the last 3 or 4 shots I thought I would be able to make the cut. It is a bit disappointing as I trained hard and was hoping to do well," he added.
Meanwhile, pistol shooter Vijay Kumar stood fifth in the first round of the qualifiers in the men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol and remained in contention to make the finals.
He accumulated a total of 293 points with 7 inner 10s in the first stage for an average score of 9.767.
Second stage will take place on Friday.
Sodhi with a total of 134 finished nine points behind leader Peter Wilson of Great Britain.
Other five shooters who qualified for the finals were Vasily Mosin of Russia, Fehaid Aldeehani of Kuwait, Russia's Vitaly Fokeev, Sweden's Hakan Dahlby and Richard Bognar of Hungary.
Expectations were high from Sodhi after his exploits at the international level over the last few years when he became world no. 1 and also went on to win both 2010 and 2011 World Cups Finals at Izmir (Turkey) and Ai Ain (UEA), respectively.
Sodhi had earlier said that the English weather could have maximum impact in his double trap event.
"See I have been in this sport for a long time and having being World Champion in 2009 and winner of World Cup, I know how it works. You may be the greatest shooter of all time but you need a bit of luck on a particular day."