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    Rudrankksh Patil not picked for Paris Olympics

    By indianshooting.com
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    Rudrankksh Patil - indianshooting.com

    The NRAI went by the rule book on Tuesday by naming Sandeep Singh and Arjun Babuta, the top-two performers at the recent Olympic Selections Trials in men’s 10m air rifle, to the 15-member Indian rifle and pistol squad for the Paris Olympics.

    While the NRAI’s sole criterion for the Paris team selection is the selection trials, time will tell whether the decision to omit a proven performer like Rudrankksh Patil from the team is correct.

    Boasting a far superior track record, Rudrankksh bagged the Olympic quota spot along with Arjun, but finished 0.3 points behind Arjun and 1.4 behind Sandeep as per the final average scores in the trials.

    The NRAI’s selection policy states that the top-two finishers in the trials will be picked for Paris even if one or both the shooters did win the quota place for the country.

    The Delhi High Court too upheld the NRAI’s Paris 2024 Olympic Selection Policy while dismissing a petition filed by a shooter challenging her non-inclusion in the trials.

    A former World No 1, Rudrankksh, 20, had written to the NRAI to take into account past performance rather than just the trials before reaching a decision.

    With gold at the 2022 Cairo World Championship, Rudrankksh is only the second Indian to achieve the feat after 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra.

    He also won gold at the 2022 Cairo World Cup Final, and has bagged four medals at various World Cups over the last two years.

    In comparison, Sandeep, 28, is a late bloomer with his international career taking off last year. Of the three World Cups he has competed in from 2023 till now at Rio de Janeiro, Cairo and Granada, his best finish is 9th at Cairo with a score of 630.4.

    Sandeep’s personal best of 634.4 came early this year at the Asian Championship in Jakarta.

    After the superior show in the trials, Sandeep was also the best Indian at the recent ISSF World Cup in Munich. Even though he missed the final and finished 10th, he finished way ahead of Rudrankksh at 18th.

    The dilemma of current form or pedigree will continue to play till Sandeep takes the onus and silences critics with a medal-winning show in Paris.

    The Indian Rifle and Pistol Team:

    Men’s 10m Air Rifle – Sandeep Singh, Arjun Babuta.

    Women’s 10m Air Rifle – Elavenil Valarivan, Ramita Jindal.

    Women’s 50m Rifle Three Positions – Sift Kaur Samra, Anjum Moudgil.

    Men’s 50m Rifle Three Positions – Aishwary Tomar, Swapnil Kusale.

    Men’s 10m Air Pistol – Sarabjot Singh, Arjun Cheema.

    Women’s 10m Air Pistol – Manu Bhaker, Rhythm Sangwan.

    Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol – Anish Bhanwala, Vijayveer Sidhu.

    Women’s 25m Pistol – Manu Bhaker, Esha Singh.