Pistol shooter Heena Sidhu’s spot in the London Olympics is almost a done deal. The Commonwealth Games champion earned a quota place for the Olympics after National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) decided to exchange a spot in the 50m Rifle 3 Position event, won by Imran Hasan Khan, with the women’s Air Pistol event.
The federation has even sent the request for swapping the events to the international shooting federation, ISSF.
However, due to the pressure from the Army to swap the spot of Imran with Athens Games silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, there was a round of discussions first within the NRAI and then between the federation and the Sports Ministry.
Though NRAI officials are meeting on Monday with the Ministry’s top officials to take a final call, it has almost been finalised to stick with Sidhu for the Olympics.
Sidhu also has an edge over other shooters in the selection policy formed by NRAI for deciding the national squad for the London Games.
“As per the criteria for picking the squad for the London Olympics, Heena was the best placed shooter,” said NRAI’s Baljit Singh Sethi.
Since 2008, Heena has scored 384 or more (Olympic level score) in 16 out of 25 events. She has a World Cup (2009) silver, Commonwealth Games gold and silver and Asian Games silver to her credit.