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    India sets sights on Olympic Quotas at ISSF World Championship

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    That India are upbeat about their chances at the ISSF World Championship, which gets underway on Tuesday, can be gauged from the size of the contingent they have fielded at Baku.

    At 53, India has the biggest presence among the 101 participating countries. It isnÔÇÖt difficult to understand the NRAI keenness on a rich haul in Azerbaijan capital. Not only on offer is a world champion tag, also up for grabs in the two-week long competition are 48 quota spots to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

    There are four quota spots in each event under the rifle, pistol and shotgun sections. Fresh from a training camp in New Delhi, the Indian challenge wears a youthful but experienced look with Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (men’s 50m rifle three positions), Divyansh Singh Panwar (men’s 10m air rifle), Manu Bhaker (women’s 25m pistol) and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa (men’s skeet) raring to go. The four are also the only shooters in the contingent who were part of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

    Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Divyansh Singh Panwar – indianshooting.com

    Aishwary, Manu and Divyansh go into Baku on the back of some solid show. At the World University Games held in Chengdu, China, a week back, Aishwary bagged two gold, one each in 10m air rifle and 50m three positions, Manu got gold in women’s 10m air pistol and Divyansh settled for silver behind Aishwary in 10m air rifle.

    Coming back to the quota spots, a country is eligible for two quotas in each event, and India have secured three quota spots for 2024 Paris so far. Each country is eligible to obtain a maximum of 24 quotas (12 for each gender).

    Rudrankksh Patil secured one in the men 10m air rifle at the last World Championship in Cairo 2022, and Swapnil Kusale did it in men 50m rifle three positions, a first for India in the event at the Worlds. Bhowneesh Mendiratta won a quota in the men trap at the Shotgun World Championhip in Osijek, Croatia. The trio has not been included for Baku though to maximize the team chances of winning quota spots.

    Angad Vir Singh Bajwa – indianshooting.com

    Aishwary, Manu, Divyansh have a proven track record at the World Championships, and their recent form bodes well for India in Baku.

    Just 22, Aishwary, ranked World No 6, has the knowhow of hitting bulls-eye at the World Championships. At the 2021 edition in Lima, he won gold in his pet event 50m rifle three positions as a junior.

    Manu, ranked World No 28 in 25m pistol and 32 in 10m air pistol, is far more experienced than one would expect a 21-year-old to be. Lima 2021 was Manu turf as she struck gold four times, junior 10m air pistol, junior 10m air pistol team, junior 25m pistol team and junior 10m air pistol mixed team.

    Ranked No 27 in the world, Divyansh had struck gold in Cairo 2022 in junior 10m air rifle team.

    Baku will be Angad first brush with a World Championship but the 27-year-old has the pedigree to step up on the biggest stage, especially after his golden show at the 2021 New Delhi World Cup in skeet team men and mixed team. He also has a gold apiece at the 2018 and 2019 Asian Championships in Kuwait and Doha, respectively.