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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Chandigarh’s Angad bags Olympic quota in skeet shooting

Gold medallist Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and silver winner Mairaj Ahmad Khan added to India’s rich Olympic quota haul with a sensational 1-2 finish in the men’s skeet event at the 14th Asian Championship at Doha

cities Updated: Nov 11, 2019 01:03 IST
HTC/Agencies
HTC/Agencies
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh/Agencies
Angad Vir Singh Bajwa trains in Chandigarh.
Angad Vir Singh Bajwa trains in Chandigarh.(HT FILE)
         

Gold medallist Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and silver winner Mairaj Ahmad Khan added to India’s rich Olympic quota haul with a sensational 1-2 finish in the men’s skeet event at the 14th Asian Championship at Doha on Sunday.

Their medals ensured India secured an unprecedented 15 quota places for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. India had 11 shooters at the 2012 London Olympics and 12 in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

This will also be the first time that India will send two skeet players to the Olympics.

Bajwa, 23, a joint world record holder, prevailed over his senior, Mairaj, 44, in the shoot-off after both were tied at 56 hits apiece in the 60-shot final. Kuwait's Habib Saud won bronze and the third available quota place.

Though he initially competed in Canada, Bajwa shifted to India in 2015, and has since been training in Chandigarh and abroad.

Bajwa, whose father Gurpal is in the hospitality business in Canada, came into limelight last year after shooting a perfect 60 out of 60 targets to claim the world record and gold in the Asian Shotgun Championship in Kuwait.

“15 quotas and a very special 1st & 2nd in Skeet. Angad and Mairaj - Bravo boys super proud of you two. Way to go team India you exceeded my estimate by an additional quota!” National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh tweeted.

“It was not easy, particularly in the qualifying shoot-off. But, I was very confident and had prepared well for this competition, so had Angad. I was very confident of him as well. Before the competition, I had told everyone that both Angad and I will win quotas. I am happy that it came true,” Mairaj said, speaking highly of young Bajwa’s performance.

Both Indians overcame a marathon eight-way shoot-off for the three final qualification spots. Mairaj won that challenge, shooting down 38 birds straight to overcome Habib, who missed his 38th, even has Angad bagged the sixth and final spot hitting 25. The duo had posted an equal score of 120 out of 125 in the qualifiers.