The threat is over and the shooters can now pull the trigger in right earnest in pursuit of the 14 Olympic quota places on offer, apart from the 30 medals, in the World Cup starting at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Saturday.
After the uncertainty about the Olympic quota places have been dispelled by a clear directive from the International Olympic Committee, the Indian shooters will aim to secure 12 of the Olympic quota places that they are eligible to earn in this edition.
With Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela having already secured the maximum possible two Olympic quota places for India in women’s air rifle, the focus will be on some of the explosive youngsters who have been dominant on the global stage.
Saurabh Chaudhary, the Asian Games gold medallist, Youth Olympics champion and World junior champion will be one of the strong contenders in men’s air pistol. So will be the other Youth Olympics gold medallist Manu Bhaker.
Asian Games silver medallist Deepak Kumar and the air rifle national champion for the last three years Ravi Kumar have enough exposure at the international level to strike it rich at home.
There is also a surprise package in the young Divyansh Singh Panwar.
The onus in women’s rifle 3-position will be on Gaayathri Nithyanandam and former World Champion in prone, Tejaswini Sawant.
Anjum Moudgil is ineligible to fight for any further quota place.
Seasoned Olympians like Sanjeev Rajput and Heena Sidhu who took the oath on behalf of the athletes at the opening ceremony on Thursday, will be able to deliver in men’s rifle 3-position and women’s air pistol events respectively.
There are other shooters like Olympian Chain Singh and the Asian Games bronze medallist Abhishek Verma, who are capable of winning anything on their day.
The focus of all the shooters will be to first make the finals in their events