The 15-member Indian shooting contingent will inherit rifle shooters Abhinav Bindra and pistol shooter Vijay Kumar to justify themselves when competing at the Tokyo Olympics, which begin on July 23.
It cannot be said that Bindra, the winner of India’s first individual gold at the Olympic Games with a 10-meter air rifle, has set the mark for future generations and thousands of archers have taken up the challenge across the country, which is bearing fruit now.
As India sends its largest shooting team to four-year matches, there is hope not only for a pair but also for a handful of medals in the sport, which brought the country four medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Rajavardhan Singh Rathore Faced with the challenge of the best in business to win silver in Athens, Bindra achieved exceptional fame in Beijing, followed by bronze medalist Vijay Kumar in 2012 in London.
The Rio Olympics in 2016 were a huge disappointment as Bindra was one step away from the medal, but finally finished fourth after losing a penalty in his swan song.
The current Indian contingent, consisting mainly of young people without two adults – rifle shooter Sanjeev Rajput and Scythian shooter Maraj Ahmad Khan, is motivated and committed. Their unimpeded two-month competition schedule in Croatia should make them a force to be reckoned with in the Olympics, given their pedigree, as most of them are world championships, world cup, Asian games and world record holders. .
The list includes the likes of young Manu Baker and Saurab Chaudhari shooters, who were in peak form, winning mixed team gold – a new discipline introduced in Tokyo – by the dozens, in addition to glory in the corners, in the individual category.
The young Divyansh Panwar, the 10-meter rifle that retained first place in the world for nearly six months and ranks second now, is one of the leading contenders for medals, along with the world’s leading air rifle number one, Elavenil Valarivan, while has high expectations of the shy Saurabh Chaudhary, who won gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and has never let his guard down in every race he has competed in so far.
If nothing else, the contingent has the support of support staff who are without competition. Rifle coach Suma Shirur is a former world record holder, while pistol coach Samaresh Jung is the hero of the 2006 British Community Games in Melbourne, where he won five gold medals.
But the greatest influence on the formation of the career of young shooters with a pistol has the Russian coach Pavel Smirnov. Not only did he shape Vijay Kumar’s journey to silver at the 2012 London Olympics, but he also shaped the career of Tokyo-linked gun shooters with his cool demeanor.
Vijay Kumar, one of India’s top gunmen, said he had high hopes for the contingent and would be disappointed if they did not receive less than six medals.
“Although I can’t predict anything, I will say that everyone is a world winner. Some mixed team events have been introduced in Tokyo, which has increased the likelihood of medals,” Vijay, Dy Superintendent of Police, published in Himachal Pradesh, told IANS from Solan.
“Our team is provided with the best equipment. In the last 2-3 months they have been training abroad without any interference, so this will give them many advantages. If you compete and train internationally for 2-3 months and you are in racing mode for a long time, this gives you an advantage.
“Saurab was doing really well, Manu was doing well – it all depends now on how they are able to stay calm at any given time. But I guess the Indians will not have the problems they competed on the big stage in all these years.
“If we evaluate the performance of the last four years, from the 2016 Olympics onwards, rifle and pistol shooters are equally capable of winning medals, unlike before, when rifle shooters were favorites. I’m sure the rifle and the gun should carry between 2-3 medals in number, “Vijay said.
“Rifle shooters may not have such a team performance, but these are the Olympics and you never know who rises to the occasion and wins a medal,” Vijay added.
He said coach Paul would have a calming effect on gun shooters. “Paul is one of the most dedicated coaches in the world. He has been in India since 2007 and won me silver at the 2012 London Olympics. He played a huge role in my achievement because he always kept the shooters informed of the latest techniques and also takes players’ input. “
Although there are several motivating factors in the team, one of the key reasons why they would like to do well is to save the reputation of the Indian shooting, which suffered in 2016. Rio – the country returned empty-handed.
Indian contingent (in discipline)
10 meters air pistol: Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal
Sport pistol at 25 meters: Rahi Sarnobat, Manu Bhaker
10 meters air rifle: Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan
50-meter rifle 3-position: Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant.
10-meter air pistol: Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma
10 meters air rifle: Divyansh Panwar, Deepak Kumar
50-meter rifle 3-position: Sanjeev Rajput, Aishwari Pratap Singh Tomar.
Skeet: Angadvir Singh Baiva, Mayraj Ahmad Khan
10 meters air rifle: Divyansh Panwar-Elavenil Valarivan and Deepak Kumar-Anjum Moudgil
10-meter air pistol: Saurabh Chaudhary-Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma-Yashaswini Deswal.
Here is the full schedule:
Saturday, July 24, (5:00 – 13:00) (IST)
– Qualification for women with an air rifle at 10 m
– 10 m air pistol, qualification for men
Sunday, July 25 (05:30 – 12:30) (IST)
– Men’s Scythian Qualification – Day 1
– 10 m air pistol, qualification for women
– 10 m air rifle qualification for men
Tuesday, July 27 (05:30 – 13:00) (IST)
– Qualification for mixed team of 10 meters air pistol
– 10 m mixed team qualification with air rifle
Thursday, July 29, (05:30 – 09:15) (IST)
– 25 m pistol women’s precision stage
Saturday, July 31, (08:30 – 13:40) (IST)
– 50 m rifle 3 positions Qualification for women
Monday, August 2, (05:00 – 14:30) (IST)
– 50 m rifle 3 positions qualification for men