Home Rudrankksh, Mehuli disappoint as Olympic Selection Trials throw up surprises

    Rudrankksh, Mehuli disappoint as Olympic Selection Trials throw up surprises

    By indianshooting.com
    Mehuli-Ghosh - indianshooting.com

    The recent Olympic Selection Trials conducted by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) across New Delhi and Bhopal threw up quite a few surprises.

    Established names who had secured quota spots for the country for the upcoming Paris Olympics failed to fire in the trials, thereby hurting their chances of making the Paris-bound squad which will be announced soon by the national federation.

    With three-best scores in the four trials across Delhi and Bhopal being considered for the Paris Games’ squad, former World No 1 Rudrankksh Patil and Mehuli Ghosh were major disappointments.

    Among the biggest names in the field, Rudrankksh boasts an impressive resume, which includes gold in the men’s 10m air rifle at the 2022 Cairo World Championship, thus making him only the second Indian to achieve the feat after Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra.

    Perhaps the long absence from competing in the finals was a factor behind the lacklustre show, and Rudrankksh seems to have lost out in the selection race.

    Mehuli’s bronze in women’s 10m air rifle at the 2023 Baku World Championship had secured the Paris quota, but after the under-par show in the trials, Mehuli, like Rudrankksh, will be on tenterhooks in the lead-up to the Indian squad announcement.

    Mehuli and Rudrankksh weren’t the only ones to flounder, as out of the 16 Olympic quota winners in pistol and rifle, nine did not finish top-2 at the trials.

    The bright spot was Manu Bhaker as she finished top in both 10m air pistol and 25m pistol. This means that one of the quota places can go to a shotgun shooter.

    In their quest for Paris quota spots, Indian shooters had put on an impressive by bagging 21 of the possible 24 places — five out of eight spots in shotgun, and all the 16 berths in rifle and pistol.

    The Paris-bound squad will not be short on experience as four rifle and pistol shooters from the batch of 14 who had competed in pandemic-hit 2020 Tokyo Olympics are also in the fray for Paris.

    By finishing top-two in their events at the trials, Manu Bhaker (women’s 10m and 25m pistol), Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (men’s 50m rifle three positions), Anjum Moudgil (women’s 50 rifle three positions) and Elavenil Valarivan (women’s 10m air rifle) have thrown in their hat for another Olympic appearance.