India’s best sports pistol shooters Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayyed have been given a chance to win the Olympic quota in the Asian Olympic qualification competition to be held at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, New Delhi, from January 25 to February 3.
The two, with a string of achievements in the event, including gold medals in the Commonwealth Games, had earlier been kept out of the team for the Asian championship in Kuwait which originally offered 35 Olympic quota places for Asia before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked it.
The strong performance of Rahi and Anisa, who finished with the gold and silver medals in the women’s sports pistol, at the ongoing 59th National Shooting Championship, could haven been a reason for the final nod by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) for the Asian Olympic qualification competition.
Even though the technical committee which met on November 23, had recommended that the scores of the national championship should not be considered for selection of the team for the Olympic quota competition, there is a clear message that the attempt would be to “maximise the number of quotas”.
In women’s sports pistol, Annu Raj Singh (569), Heena Sidhu (565) and Gauri Sheoran (563) had placed 20th, 22nd and 28th respectively in the Asian Championship in Kuwait which was originally the Olympic quota event as well, before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked the status.
Interestingly, the 25-year-old Rahi, who had finished seventh in the last Asian Games in Incheon, and Anisa are ranked only behind Annu Raj Singh in the overall averages for the season. The selectors had opted not to look at the criteria of “Minimum Travel Score” for the quota event, but had yet dropped the two from the Asian championship.
At a venue where they had won the gold and silver in the Commonwealth Games in 2010, and had switched positions on the podium in the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, Rahi and Anisa, definitely are the best bet to win the Olympic quota in sports pistol, in the overall perspective.
All the eight Olympic quota winners — Jitu Rai, Apurvi Chandela, Gagan Narang, Abhinav Bindra, Gurpreet Singh, Chain Singh, Prakash Nanjappa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan — are also scheduled to compete, mostly in the MQS section.
Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Position: Surendra Singh Rathod, Sanjeev Rajput, and Satyendra Singh; MQS: Chain Singh and Gagan Narang.
Men’s 50m Rifle Prone: Surendra Singh Rathod, Sushil Ghalay, and Swapnil Kusale; MQS: Chain Singh and Gagan Narang.
Men’s 10m Air Rifle: Satyendra Singh, Akhil Sheoran, and Prashant Tanwar; MQS: Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang.
Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol: Vijay Kumar, Neeraj Kumar, Harpreet Singh; MQS: Gurpreet Singh and Akshay Suhas Ashtaputre.
Men’s 50m Free Pistol: Jitu Rai, Prakash Nanjappa, Omkar Singh; MQS: Jai Singh and Gurpal Singh.
Men’s 10m Air Pistol: Omkar Singh, Jitendra Vibhute, Aman Pathania; MQS: Gurpreet Singh and Prakash Nanjappa.
Men’s Trap: Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Prithviraj Tondaiman, Kynan Chenai; MQS: Zoravar Singh and Anwer Sultan.
Men’s Double trap: Ankur Mittal, Mohd. Asab, Ronjan Sodhi; MQS: Sangram Dahiya and Yoginder Pal Singh.
Men’s Skeet: Amrinder Singh Cheema, Angadir Singh Bajwa, Man Singh; MQS: Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Smit Singh.
Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Position: Lajja Gauswami, Elizabeth Susan Koshy, Anjum Moudgil; MQS: Tejaswini Sawant and N. Gaayathri.
Women’s 10m Air Rifle: Ayonika Paul, Pooja Ghatkar, Elizabeth Susan Koshy; MQS: Apurvi Chandela and Shriyanka Sadangi.
Women’s 25m Sports Pistol: Annu Raj Singh, Rahi Sarnobat, Anisa Sayyed; MQS: Heena Sidhu and Gauri Sheoran.
Women’s 10m Air Pistol: Heena Sidhu, Shweta Singh, Yashaswini Singh Deswal; MQS: P. Shri Nivetha and Malaika Goel.
Women’s Trap: Shreyasi Singh, Shagun Chowdhary Rajeshwari Kumari; MQS: Seema Tomar and Snehlata Rajawat.
Women’s Skeet: Saniya Sheikh, Arti Singh, Rashmee Rathore; MQS: Maheshwari Chauhan and Shambhavi Kumari.