Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh shooter Chinki Yadav, quota winner in the 25m pistol event and gold medalist in the Delhi World Cup last month, failed to find a place in the team and was replaced by Anjum Moudgil, in the 15-member shooting squad named by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) for the Tokyo Olympics here on Sunday.
Chinki Yadav has been named as reserve.
The reason given by the selection committee of the NRAI for picking up Anjum Mudgil, who was the first Indian shooter to win the quota place, in this event was to enable her to compete in the Women’s 50M Rifle 3 Positions event as team’s second entry alongside former World Champion Tejaswini Sawant.
Reigning world number one in Women’s 10M Air Rifle Elavenil, was the only shooter to have been picked in the team, who had not won, one of the 15-quotas won by the National Team. She would avail of the quota won by Anjum Moudgil in the event.
The quota won for the nation can only be swapped within the same gender.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NRAI picked up 14 reserve shooters for each of the eligible events, where its shooters have won quota places for the Games.
It was also decided to name Manu Bhaker in both the women’s 25m pistol alongside the experienced Rahi Sarnobat and in her pet 10m air pistol event with Yashaswini Singh Deswal.
Manu Bhaker, whose overall performances in the Women’s 25M Pistol had been better, the Committee felt, would take advantage of the double-start rule and compete in both the Women’s 10M Air Pistol and the 25M Pistol individual events.
Anjum would also compete in the Mixed Air Rifle Team competition alongside Deepak Kumar as India’s second team in the event. Elavenil and Divyansh would form the first pairing. Apurvi Chandela, therefore, competes only in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle individual competition.
The shooters were selected based on their performance in the NRAI’s four-year Olympic qualifying cycle, starting with the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games which was followed by World Championship (both in 2018), all four World Cups and Asian Championships in 2019 and selection trials stage 1 and 2 earlier this year.
As per the NRAI’s stated policy, an average of five best scores in an international competition, starting with the Jakarta Asiad, was taken into account while picking the final team.
Commenting on the team, Raninder Singh said,”The selection I believe has been done purely on merit and in keeping with the provisions of NRAI’s Olympic selection ranking policy. This merit based approach has enabled us to field a third specialist shooter in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle events as well as go with the two best shooters in Women’s 25M Pistol event.”
“The National Selection Committee’s main focus was to select the strongest squad for the Games and to ensure that the most consistent performers in each event, during the course of this entire Olympic cycle, do not miss out. I believe they have done an excellent job on both those fronts and we are confident that this selection will deliver.” ,
The squad :
10m Air Rifle Men: Divyansh Singh Panwar, Deepak Kumar. Reserve : Sandeep Singh, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar
50m Rifle 3 Position Men: Sanjeev Rajput, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar. Reserve : Swapnil Kusale, Chain Singh
10m Air Pistol Men: Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma. Reserve : Shahzar Rizvi, Om Prakash Mitharval
10m Air Rifle Women: Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan. Reserve : Anjum Moudgil, Shreya Agrawal
50m Rifle 3 Position Women: Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant. Reserve : Sunidhi Chauhan, Gaayathri N
10m Air Pistol Women: Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal. Reserve : P Shri Nivetha, Shweta Singh
25m Sports Pistol Women: Rahi Sarnobat, Manu Bhaker. Reserve : Chinki Yadav, Abhidnya Patil
Skeet Men: Angadvir Singh Bajwa, Mairaj Ahmad Khan. Reserve : Gurjoat Siingh Khangura, Sheeraz Sheikh
10m Air Rifle Mixed Team: Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan, Deepak Kumar and Anjum Moudgil
10m Air Pistol Mixed Team: Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker, Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Singh Deswal