Top five medal prospects for India in shooting at Hangzhou Asian Games 2023
Indian shooters have won a total of 58 medals since 1951 with 9 gold in the bag.
Indian shooters will target a good medal tally in the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games 2023. A 33-member Indian shooting team will take part in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, beginning September 23. The competition also holds significance as 24 Paris Olympics quota places are on offer as well.
India has won 58 medals till date in the quadrennial event with nine gold medals in the bag. Doha 2006 was the most successful edition for India in terms of medals won in shooting — three gold medals, five silver medals and six bronze medals taking their tally to a total of 14 medals.
As just a week’s gap separates us from the Asiad, we delve into the top five medal prospects for India in shooting at the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023.
5. Esha Singh
Esha Singh, 18, is the reigning world junior champion in 25m air pistol having won it in October last year. After a remarkable performance, scoring 589/600 in the 25m air pistol during the recent National selections, the talented shooter is all set to participate in both the 10m and 25m individual Air Pistol events as well as the women’s and mixed team events.
Teenage pair of Shiva Narwal and Esha Singh won India’s first-ever mixed team gold medal at the ISSF World Shooting Championships 2023 when they clinched the top honour in 10m Air Pistol event in Baku. The India pair is considered as one of the best bets for India at the event. Rhythm Sangwan, Esha Singh and Manu Bhaker won gold medal in women’s 25m standard pistol. So, eyes will be on women’s team events too.
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4. Rhythm Sangwan
Rhythm Sangwan, 19, has excelled in both junior and senior competitions, boasting medals in her collection. She will be representing India in the individual 25m Air Pistol event as well as the women’s team event in the same category. She currently holds the title in 10m Air pistol in Asia and clinched a silver medal in the 25m category at the World Championships 2022.
As a formidable talent, Rhythm is poised to contend for a podium spot at the upcoming Asian Games, displaying her prowess in pistol shooting. Rhythm Sangwan, Esha Singh and Manu Bhaker won gold medal in women’s 25m standard pistol earlier in the month of August.
3. Mehuli Ghosh
Mehuli Ghosh, having won bronze and an Olympic berth at the ISSF World Championships in Baku, will lead the women’s 10m Air Rifle team at the Asian Games. “I am preparing well for the Asian games, and I will go to Pune for preparations as well. I have to do weapon servicing and all. I am obviously aiming for something good. I have also got inputs from the coach. I will try to do my best and want to win a medal for India in the Asian games”, said Mehuli in an interview with India Today.
However, she faces a formidable rival in China’s Han Jiyau, the gold medalist at the 2023 ISSF World Shooting Championships and a world record holder. The competition promises to be intense as Ghosh aims for success in this challenging showdown. She pairs up with Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar for the mixed rifle team event.
2. Rudrankksh Patil
Rudrankksh Patil, 19, who won India’s first world championships gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle last year since Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra in 2008, is also in the fray. Last year, Patil secured a Paris 2024 Olympics quota place for India by winning gold at the world championships.
He will be a strong medal contender for India at the 10m air rifle team event. Meanwhile the youngster did not take part in the recently concluded ISSF World Championships and will be fresh for the Asiad.
1. Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar
Aishwary Pratap Singh, 22, is set to compete in the 10m Air Rifle and 50m rifle 3-position and Air Rifle mixed team events at the Asian Games. With prior experience at the Tokyo Olympics, Singh aims to secure a spot in the Paris Olympics through this continental event.
He recently clinched gold at the World University Games but faced disappointment at the ISSF World Championships, missing out on an Olympic qualification opportunity. Now, Singh is determined to make a comeback in the Asian Games, where he is considered a strong medal contender, showcasing his potential in the shooting arena. He has paired up with Mehuli Ghosh for the mixed team event.