Korea bound Indian Shooting Contingent Targets Maximum Quotas for Rio 2016
24 Olympic quota places up for grabs at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup (Rifle/Pistol) set to begin in Changwon, Korea
New Delhi, 05 Apr 2015: A 25 member strong Indian shooting contingent is set to compete at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup (Rifle/Pistol) event in Changwon, Korea, beginning April 8, with an eye on the 24 Olympic quota places up for grabs. Jitu Rai, had won India her first quota place for the Rio 2016 games, when he finished second in the 50m Free Pistol at the Shooting World Championships held in Granada, Spain last year. Each nation can earn a maximum of 30 quota places in the summer Olympics, two each in all events including the Shotgun events. There will be 14 quota places to vie for in the men’s competition and 10 in the women’s competition. The Indian squad will be competing in all 10 disciplines on show.
Upbeat about the team’s prospects, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President, Mr. Raninder Singh said, “This is the year’s first big test for our Rifle and Pistol shooters and the squad is all fit and raring to go. We are confident that all team members will be putting their best foot forward and will continue to bring more glory to the nation, as they have been doing at the global stage for some years now. We wish the squad all the very best and although the competition will be tough, we hope our talented shooters secure the maximum number of Olympic quota places as they possibly can.”
Apart from Jitu Rai, who is ranked in the top 10 of the world in both the 50m Pistol and the 10m Air pistol disciplines, a lot will also be expected from Olympic medalist Gagan Narang, currently ranked 6th in the world in the 50m Rifle Prone as well as Ayonika Paul, currently ranked 7th in the women’s 10m Air Rifle.
The country’s lone individual Olympic Gold medalist Abhinav Bindra, will also be competing in the 10m Air Rifle event and will be carrying the country’s hopes on his shoulders as he must be used to by now. Heena Sidhu, a former world number one and Commonwealth Games as well as World Championships Gold medalist, has been recently showing a pleasant return to form and will also be expected to secure an Olympic berth for her country.