As many as nine reigning Olympic champions will be seen in action at the prestigious ISSF World Cup Final which gets underway at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi from Tuesday.
The star-studded line up includes three time Olympic Champion Kimberly Rhode of the USA, Vietnam’s first ever Olympic Champion Xuan Vinh Hoang in Men’s 10m Air Pistol, Greece’s 21-year-old pistol sensation Anna Korakaki and the USA’s 20-year-old Virginia Thrasher who won the Women’s 10m Air Rifle gold in Rio on her Olympic debut.
Apart from the Olympic champions, the World Championship medallists along with the year’s top eight World Cup performers will be seen in action at the year ending prestigious event.
A total of 162 shooters from 45 countries will be competing over the next one week. There will be 18 events including the three mixed team events in pistol, rifle and trap, a fresh addition to the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020.
“It is a great honour for the country and the NRAI, to be hosting the best in the sport of shooting in such a top class competition. We hope fans enjoy seeing their local stars compete with the very best in the world in flesh and blood,” said Raninder Singh, President NRAI.
Hosts India have a total of 10 shooters across the three disciplines including the current World number one in Men’s Double Trap Ankur Mittal, 2014 World Championship silver medallist and Asian Games gold medallist in Men’s 50m Pistol Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu, a former 2013 ISSF World Cup Final winner in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol.
China with 26 competitors, are by far the largest squad. Among their top shooters in fray will be Mengxue Zhang, the Rio Olympic gold medallist in Women’s 25m Pistol and Zhang Binbin, last year’s champion in the Women’s 50m Rifle Three Positions.
The Indian Team:
Jitu Rai (Men’s 10m Air Pistol, Men’s 50m Pistol, 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team), Amanpreet Singh (Men’s 50m Pistol), Pooja Ghatkar (Women’s 10m Air Rifle), Ravi Kumar (Men’s 10m Air Rifle), Ankur Mittal (Men’s Double Trap), Shapath Bharadwaj (Men’s Double Trap), Sangram Dahiya (Men’s Double Trap), Heena Sidhu (10m Air Pistol Mixed Team), Meghana Sajjanar (10m Air Rifle Mixed Team), Deepak Kumar (10m Air Rifle Mixed Team).
The Olympic Champions who are participating are as follows:
Kimberly Rhode (USA), 3 time Olympic Champion.
Xuan Vinh Huang (Vie), Men’s 10m Air Pistol – 2016 Rio Olympics.
Virginia Thrasher (USA), Women’s 10m Air Rifle – 2016 Rio Olympics.
Catherine Skinner (Aus), Women’s Trap – 2016 Rio Olympics.
Mengxue Zhang (Chn), Women’s 10m Air Pistol – 2016 Rio Olympics.
Christian Reitz (Ger), Men’ s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol – 2016 Rio Olympics.
Henri Junghaenel (Ger) Men’s 50m Rifle Prone – 2016 Rio Olympics.
Anna Korakaki (Gre), Women’s 25m Pistol – 2016 Rio Olympics.
Diana Bacosi (Ita), Women’s Skeet – 2016 Rio Olympics.
Gabrielle Rossetti (Ita), Men’s Skeet – 2016 Rio Olympics.
Jessica Rossi (Ita), Women’s Skeet – 2012 London Olympics.
Alin Moldoveanu (Rom), Men’s 10m Air Rifle – 2012 London Olympics.