Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi :Teenager Divyansh Singh Panwar won silver in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle and a Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota place at the Shooting World Cup (Rifle/Pistol) in Beijing on Friday.
Divyansh who had won gold in the Mixed Team event on Thursday, first qualified in third place for the eight-man final with a solid 60-shot round of 629.2.
In the final the Jaipur shooter who has scored over the Men’s world record in domestic competition finals in the recent past, shot like a seasoned pro with just one score of 9.5 in 24 shots, with the others not being below 10.1.
While a dead-straight 10.9 for his 21stshot was a clear highlight, two other shots, a 10.5 to secure bronze and a 10.5 for his 17th under a bit of pressure from the legendary Hungarian Peter Sidi, stood out.
His ability to come up with the right shots in a big final in what is only his second senior team appearance was exceptional to say the least. He was never out of contention in the final, staying in the top three throughout and delivering when it mattered most, to almost win gold.
China’s Hui Zicheng, who claimed the final qualification spot on the day, held on to win Gold with a score of 249.4, leaving Divyansh just 0.4 behind in the end calculations. Russian Grigorii Shamakov won Bronze with a score of 227.5.
In the other event of the day, the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire competition, Adarsh Singh was the best Indian performer finishing 10thwith a score of 583 in qualifying. Anish Bhanwala was next claiming 22ndspot with a score of 578 while Arpit Goel finished with 575 to claim 29thspot.
China’s world number one Lin Junmin won gold in the event with a final round score of 35 while Germany’s Oliver Geis won silver with 31 and France’s Jean Quiquampoix won bronze with 27 points.
India have now won a total of four Tokyo Olympic quota places in Shooting through Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle, Saurabh Chaudhary in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol and now with Divyansh’s effort getting them their first in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle.
What is even better news for India is the fact that now they can field at least one Mixed Team Air Rifle pair in Tokyo, given the women have already won the maximum two individual quota places in their 10m Air Rifle competition.
A maximum of 24 quota places, two each across 12 events in Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun can be won by an individual National Olympic Committee. Based on the quotas won, countries can field teams in the three mixed events, which will be held for the first time at the Tokyo games.
China had already secured its maximum two quotas in the event, thereby the two available quotas went to Indian and Russia. Shamakov ensured that Russia had maximized their Olympic quotas in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle.
The three Olympic quotas in the event however went to Oliver Geis of Germany and USA’s Henry Leverett who finished fifth and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Petriv who finished sixth, given China had already maximized their two quotas going into the final and Jean Quiquampoix had also secured a quota earlier.