Rio Olympics on mind, Indian shooters aim for quota berths
It will be a litmus test for the Indian shooting contingent when they compete in the season-opening ISSF World Cup in rifle and pistol at Changwon, South Korea, starting Friday.other Updated: Apr 09, 2015 12:11 IST
It will be a litmus test for the Indian shooting contingent when they compete in the season-opening ISSF World Cup in rifle and pistol at Changwon, South Korea, starting Friday.
All eyes will be on the country’s big guns including Beijing Olympic Games champion Abhinav Bindra and pistol shooter Heena Sidhu.
The competition assumes importance as it will also act as qualifying event for the 2016 Rio Games. Last year, India had won only one quota place in 50m pistol event.
In the 10m air rifle event, apart from Bindra, London Games bronze-medallist Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput and Chan Singh are strong contenders.
Bindra and the other shooters will face strong challenge from seasoned shooters such as Peter Sidi of Hungary — he is multiple World Cup medallist — and Italy’s Niccolo Campriani.
The Chinese too have an impressive line-up including Zhu Qinan, who won silver at the Beijing Games.
FOCUS ON HEENA
The women’s 25m event also starts on Friday, and the focus will be on Sidhu. She is India’s leading 10m air pistol shooter and would be participating in the minimum qualification score (MQS) category.
Apart from Sidhu, Gauri Sheoran will also compete in MQS. Rahi Sarnobat, Anisa Sayyed and Annu Raj Singh are the other prominent Indians who are looking ahead to winning quota places.