Four junior shooters make cut in Commonwealth Games Indian shooting squad

Teenage pistol shooters Anish Bhanwala (Haryana) and Manu Bhaker (Haryana) and rifle shooters Mehuli Ghosh (Bengal) and Anjum Moudgil (Punjab) have been named in the 27-member shooting squad led by Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast from April 4.

other sports Updated: Jan 30, 2018 21:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Commonwealth Games 2018,CWG,CWG 2018
Jitu Rai, Army shooter and the 2014 Asian Games gold medallist, will take part in both air pistol and 50m free pistol events at the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast. (Getty Images)

Four talented junior shooters have made the cut for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast from April 4. Teenage pistol shooters Anish Bhanwala (Haryana) and Manu Bhaker (Haryana) and rifle shooters Mehuli Ghosh (Bengal) and Anjum Moudgil (Punjab) have been included in the 27-member shooting squad for the quadrennial games.

Bhanwala, a Class XI student, stamped his authority in 25m rapid fire during the National Championship in December and the selection trials held recently at the Karni Singh Ranges. The 16-year-old is currently India’s No 1 in the rapid fire and No 2 in standard.

In the past six months, reigning air rifle national champion Mehuli has been on target in almost all competitions and the 17-year-old’s inclusion didn’t come as a surprise.

Gold-medallist at the National Championships at Thiruvananthapuram in December, rifle shooter Anjum Moudgil bagged the top spot in both 50m prone and 50m 3-position and she will be expected to repeat her performance in Gold Coast, while Manu Bhaker, who beat Heena Sidhu in 10m air pistol during the Nationals, too will be boarding the flight to Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast CWG organising committee has reduced the shooting quota from 30 to 27 from the previous CWG in Glasgow, because of which the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has picked 12 women and 15 male shooters. While there are some events in pistol and rifle where names are overlapping, in shotgun, the top two in each of the three events --- trap, double trap and skeet--- were included.

“Since there are several (pistol and rifle) shooters doing multiple events, the selection panel deliberate on the utility shooters,” said an NRAI official.

Army shooter and 2014 Asian Games gold-medallist Jitu Rai, who is good in both air pistol and 50m free pistol, will compete in both events. Similarly, pistol shooter Heena Sidhu will compete in air pistol and 25m sports pistol.

London Olympic Games bronze medallist in air rifle, Gagan Narang, has been struggling in his pet event and is ranked sixth, but the Hyderabadi has been selected as he is ranked No 2 in 50m rifle prone.

The squad: Men -- 10m air pistol (Om Prakash Mitharwal, Jitu Rai) ; 10m air rifle (Ravi Kumar, Deepak Kumar); 25m rapid fire (Anish Bhanwala, Neeraj Kumar); 50m rifle 3-pos (Sanjeev Rajput, Chain Singh); 50m rifle prone (Chain Singh, Gagan Narang); 50m free pistol (Jitu Rai, Om Prakash Mitharwal); Shotgun: Trap (Manavjit Singh, Kynan Chenai); Double trap (Mohd Asab, Ankur Mittal); Skeet (Smit Singh, Sheeraj Sheikh)

Women -- 10m air rifle (Apurvi Chandela, Mehuli Ghosh); 10m air pistol (Heena Sidhu, Manu Bhaker); 25m sports pistol (Heena Sindhu, Annuraj Singh); 50m rifle 3-pos (Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant); 50m rifle prone (Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant). Shotgun: Trap (Shreyasi Singh, Seema Tomar); Double trap (Shreyasi, Varsha Varman); Skeet (Saniya Sheikh, Maheshwari Chauhan).

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 21:37 IST