The festive spirit in the country is set to get sweeter with the Indian shooters, fresh from their exploits at the 19th Asian Games, back on the shooting ranges of Changwon, Korea, to do what they are best at.
Memories of the record 22 medals in Hangzhou are still fresh, and the 15th Asian Shooting Championship, which have come calling in less than a fortnight from the Asian Games, will be an affirmation that come Sunday the Indian shooting squad can be certain of another bagful of medals, and importantly in this case, more Olympic quotas.
Competition will be staged across 16 events, including 4 mixed team events, and the 35-member strong Indian contingent will be out to corner glory in all they survey.
The stakes are high as this is a great chance to secure quota spots for the 2024 Paris Olympics, which is less than a year away. On offer are 24 quotas in rifle, pistol and shotgun, and the Indian shooters, who already have secured seven quota spots, can add another 17 to their kitty as 24 is the upper limit allowed for one country.
A look at the Indian squad, and the insight is immediate. A bunch of world-beaters raring to go up against the best of Asia.
Names like Rudrankksh Patil (men’s 10m air rifle), Bhowneesh Mendiratta (men’s trap), Swapnil Kusale (men’s 50m rifle 3 positions), Mehuli Ghosh (women’s 10m air rifle), Akhil Sheoran (men’s 50m rifle three positions), Sift Kaur Samra (women’s 50m rifle three positions) and Rajeshwari Kumari (women’s trap) evoke awe in any competition across the world, and proof lies in this group coming into this competition with Olympic quotas against their name.
That box ticked, Rudrankksh, Bhowneesh, Mehuli, Sift and Rajeshwari are in the team for shooting for ranking points.
Since this edition of the Asian Championship is about securing more Olympic quotas, the focus will be on Palak Gulia (women 10m air pistol), Esha Singh (women 25m pistol), Ashi Chouksey (women 50m 3 positions), Ramita Jindal (women 10m air rifle), Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (men 50m rifle 3 positions), Anant Jeet Singh Naruka (men skeet) and Kynan Chenai (men trap), among others, as they are on a high after securing individual medals at the recent Asian Games.
Hungry for Olympic quotas, the presence of these shooters will maximize India’s chances for claiming more quotas at the Asian Championship. However, the men 50m rifle three positions is an exception as India already has the two possible quotas through Swapnil and Akhil and cannot win more as per the rule. The duo is joined in Korea by Aishwary.
The Indian Team
Men’s 10m Air Rifle: Divyansh Singh Panwar, Arjun Babuta, Hriday Hazarika, Rudrankksh Patil (RPO).
Women’s 10m Air Rifle: Ramita Jindal, Tilottama Sen, Shriyanka Sadangi, Mehuli Ghosh (RPO).
Men’s 50m Rifle Three Positions: Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Swapnil Kusale, Akhil Sheoran.
Women’s 50m Rifle Three Positions: Ashi Chouksey, Shriyanka Sadangi, Ayushi Podder, Sift Kaur Samra (RPO).
Men’s 10m Air Pistol: Sarabjot Singh, Shiva Narwal, Kunal Rana.
Women’s 10m Air Pistol: Palak Gulia, Rhythm Sangwan, Surbhi Rao.
Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol: Vijayveer Sidhu, Anish Bhanwala, Adarsh Singh.
Women’s 25m Pistol: Esha Singh, Manu Bhaker, Rhythm Sangwan.
Men’s Trap: Kynan Chenai, Prithviraj Tondaiman, Zoravar Singh Sandhu, Bhowneesh Mendiratta (RPO).
Women’s Trap: Manisha Keer, Preeti Rajak, Sabeera Haris, Rajeshwari Kumari (RPO).
Men’s Skeet: Anant Jeet Singh Naruka, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, Gurjoat Khangura.
Women’s Skeet: Ganemat Sekhon, Parinaaz Dhaliwal, Darshna Rathore.