As many as eight Olympic-bound Indian shooters, including some of the country’s biggest medals hopes in Tokyo, will be seen in action in the European Championship here on Monday.
Participating in the continental tournament as guest invitee, the Indians will, however, be shooting only in the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) section, and hence, their scores will not be considered for qualifying for the finals.
So podium finishes in the tournament are out of question for the Indian shooters but they will not mind that as it will at least give them another competitive platform to test themselves ahead of this summer’s all-important Tokyo Olympics.
Three Indians — Divyansh Singh Panwar, Deepak Kumar and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar — will shoot in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle MQS along with 12 other participants. While Divyansh and Deepak are going to shoot in the main event in Tokyo, the young Aishwary has been picked as one of the squad’s many reserves.
Apurvi Chandela and Elavanil Valarivan will shoot in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle MQS along with 12 other shooters.
While Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary will test themselves in the Men’s 10 Air Pistol along with nine others shooters from various countries, Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Singh Deswal will shoot in the Women’s 10 Air Pistol along with six more competitors.
India’s 13-member Olympic-bound squad arrived here from Croatian capital Zagreb on Saturday, which is the team’s training base in the run-up to the Olympics.
The Indian shooters will take part in the men’s and women’s individual Olympic events only.
Anjum Moudgil may compete in two individual events (Women’s 10m Air Rifle and 50m Rifle Three Positions).
Located on the eastern fringes of Croatia, Osijek will also play host to the ISSF World Cup, scheduled from June 22, a couple of weeks after the conclusion of the European Championships.
When shooting in the MQS section, athletes do not compete for a medal and therefore are not eligible to qualify for the finals. Their scores, however, can be used for official and ranking purposes.
A total of 15 Indian shooters have qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.
Skeet shooters Mairaj Khan and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, who have also qualified for the Games, are training in Italy.