Manu Bhaker and Anjum Moudgil made the cut among others.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has announced a 25-member Indian contingent for the upcoming International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Rifle/Pistol World Cups to be held in Cairo and Bhopal. The results of the two National Selection Trials determined the athletes who will be a part of the World Cups. The Cairo World Cup is scheduled to be held from February 17 to February 24. While the Bhopal World Cup will start on March 20 and continue till March 31, 2023.
Manu Bhaker, Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil, Anjum Moudgil, Rhythm Sangwan, and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar are among the elite Indian shooters who will be seen in action in both the World Cups. The Commonwealth Games 2018 gold medalist Anish Bhanwala and Tokyo Olympian Divyansh Singh Panwar are two more familiar names who will battle to regain their dominant run on the world stage.
It is important to note that the World Cups won’t be offering any quota places for the Paris Olympics 2024. However, the World Cup’s performances will be taken into consideration for determining the ranking of a shooter.
What Happened at the National Selection Trial one and Trial two
At the National Selection trials, Assam’s Hriday Hazarika made the cut as the top male shooter in the 10m air rifle, ahead of the World champion Patil and the former World no. 1 Panwar. In the women’s air rifle, the 14-year-old Tilottama Sen shone yet again, with a high-class qualification round performance of 633.5 in Trial two (T2). She narrowly lost against Ramita in the finals of T2 by 12-16. However, both the shooters managed to book their names in the World Cup squad.
In the women’s 50m 3 Positions, Sift Kaur defeated experience Anjum twice to secure her place in the squad. Aishwary topped both the qualification round, thus making the squad alongside experienced Akhil Sheoran and Swapnil Kusale. Swapnil had also earned Paris 2024 quota for India in the men’s 50m 3P in the last year’s World Championships.
In the pistol events, national champion Divya TS topped the women’s trials, finishing ahead of Manu and Rhythm, although all the three shooters made it to the squad. Shiva Narwal narrowly missed out on a berth in terms of the averages, owing to a qualification score of 576 in trial two in the men’s 10m air pistol.
Esha, who lost an opportunity in the women’s air pistol, earned a spot in the 25m sports pistol, along with Manu and Rhythm. Vijayveer Sidhu who performed well in both trials will be unavailable for the Cairo World Cup. As a result, the fourth-placed Bhavesh Shekhawat will be joining Anish and Ankur Goel in the squad that will be heading to Egypt. However, Vijayveer will be back for the World Cup that will take place in Bhopal, India.
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Indian Squad for ISSF World Cup, Cairo
10m Air Rifle: Hriday Hazarika, Rudrankksh Patil, Divyansh Singh Panwar.
50m Rifle 3 Positions: Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Swapnil Kusale, Akhil Sheoran.
10m Air Pistol: Sarabjot Singh, Varun Tomar, Sumit Raman.
25m Rapid Fire Pistol: Anish Bhanwala, Ankur Goel, Bhavesh Shekhawat.
10m Air Rifle: Tilottama Sen, Narmada Nithin, Ramita Jindal.
50m Rifle 3 Positions: Anjum Moudgil, Sift Kaur Samra, Manini Kaushik.
10m Air Pistol: Divya TS, Rhythm Sangwan, Manu Bhaker.
25m Sports Pistol: Manu Bhaker, Rhythm Sangwan, Esha Singh.
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