The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) selected a 15-member Indian shooting squad for the Tokyo Olympics which is scheduled to be held in July this year.
Earlier the NRAI revealed that they will also send some reserve shooters in all the categories especially during the time of a global pandemic.
The Indian shooters performed exceptionally well and secured as many as 15 Olympics quotas in the Olympics qualifiers. The quotas however belong to the country and not to any shooter.
The NRAI which is the governing body for Shooting in India calculated the five best scores of the shooters in any international competition starting from the qualifiers which started in 2018 at the Asian Games in Jakarta and picked the team according to the scores.
The 10m Air Rifle quota which was earned by Anjum Moudgil has been handed to Elavenil Valarivan and she will now compete in that category at the Summer Games. While Moudgil has been selected as a reserve for that category. This was done to release the pressure from Anjum Moudgil as she will be competing in the women’s 50m Rifle 3 Position discipline.
Manu Bhaker on whom a lot of Indian hopes are pinned will be gearing up to take responsibility in three categories- the 10m Air Pistol, 25m Pistol and the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team events.
There are in total 14 reserve shooters who will be travelling with the team and will only step in case of any emergency. The reserve shooters will have to go through the same procedure if they are enrolled in the main team in case any of the first team shooters is contracted with COVID-19.
In the 10m Air Rifle Divyansh Singh Panwar will be India’s brightest hope whereas Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar in 50m Rifle 3 Position Men is also a contender for a medal at the Olympics. There will be high hopes from both Saurabh Chaudhury and Abhishek Verma in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol.
The only major surprise was Chinki Yadav who won the gold medal at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Women’s 25m Air pistol event beating Manu Bhaker and Rahi Sarnobat, was placed amongst the reserve shooters.
Commenting on the selection, Mr. Raninder Singh who is the President of NRAI said, “The National Selection Committee’s main focus was to select the strongest squad for the Games and to ensure that the most consistent performers in each event, during the course of this entire Olympic cycle, do not miss out. I believe they have done an excellent job on both those fronts and we are confident that this selection will deliver.”
“The selection I believe has been done purely on merit and in keeping with the provisions of NRAI’s Olympic selection ranking policy. This merit based approach has enabled us to field a third specialist shooter in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle events as well as go with the two best shooters in Women’s 25M Pistol event,” he added.