Youth Olympic Games champion Manu Bhaker, in-form Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Sift Kaur Samra will spearhead India’s 53-member shooting squad at the World Championships to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from Thursday.
Besides the medals on offer, shooters will also have the opportunity to vie for the 48 direct Paris 2024 Olympic quota spots, which will be awarded to the top four finishers in each of the 12 Olympic shooting events.
The shooting world championships will also include competitions in non-Olympic events. India’s contingent includes 19 shooters for non-Olympic events.
Manu Bhaker and Sift Kaur Samra won gold medals in the 10m air pistol and 50m rifle 3 positions, respectively, at the recently-concluded World University Games in Chengdu, China. Manu however, will compete only in the 25m pistol event in Baku.
Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, winner of gold medals in 10m air rifle and 50m rifle 3 positions and Divyansh Singh Panwar, who bagged silver in the 10m air rifle in Chengdu, will be staking their claims for quota in these events.
Quota places, however, don’t belong to individual shooters and are earned on behalf of national teams. National federations decide which shooter travels to the main event by conducting trials.
Bhowneesh Mendiratta (trap), world champion Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil (10m air rifle) and Swapnil Kusale (50m rifle 3 positions) won Olympic quotas for India at last year’s ISSF World Championships. However, an athlete can only secure one quota for his or her national team at qualifying events.
Bhowneesh, Rudrankksh and Swapnil did not get selected in the national squad for the World Championships as it would give other shooters a chance to add to India’s quota allocation.
Each country is eligible to obtain a maximum of 24 quotas (12 for each gender). A total of 340 shooters (170 per gender) will compete at the Paris Olympics. While all the finals of Olympic shooting events at the ISSF World Championships will be held from August 17 to 24, the competition for non-Olympic events will conclude on August 31.
50m rifle 3 positions: Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Akhil Sheoran, Niraj Kumar; 10m air rifle: Divyansh Singh Panwar, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Hriday Hazarika
25m rapid fire pistol: Anish, Vijayveer Sidhu, Adarsh Singh ; 10m air pistol: Sarabjot Singh, Shiva Narwal, Arjun Singh Cheema; Trap: Kynan Chenai, Prithviraj Tondaiman, Zoravar Sandhu; Skeet: Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, Gurjoat Khangura, Anant Jeet Singh Naruka
50m rifle 3 positions: Sift Kaur Samra, Ashi Chouksey, Manini Kaushik;10m air rifle: Ramita, Mehuli Ghosh, Tilottama Sen; 25m pistol: Rhythm Sangwan, Manu Bhaker, Esha Singh;
10m air pistol: Divya TS, Esha Singh, Palak ;Trap: Manisha Keer, Rajeshwari Kumari, Preeti Rajak; Skeet: Ganemat Sekhon, Parinaaz Dhaliwal, Darshna Rathore