The 10m air rifle event is seen as a strong medal prospect for India in the shooting event at the Tokyo Olympics. Divyansh Singh Panwar, Elavenil Valarivan, Anjum Moudgill and Deepak Kumar will represent India in the 10m air rifle event at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
The 10m air rifle shooting event was first introduced to the Summer Games at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Both the men's and women's 10m air rifle events were featured at the quadrennial event in the USA.
India's shooting contingent of 15 members is the second-largest contingent after hockey (16 each in men's and women's teams). In recent years, India has been making headlines by winning multiple medals at international shooting events.
It's no wonder why shooting is one of the sports for India to win medals in, at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
What is the 10m air rifle event?
The 10m air rifle is loaded with a 4.5mm (0.177 in) calibre and is shot over a distance of 10 meters (10.94 yards). The weight of the rifle gun is heavier than a pistol gun, as it weighs around 5.5 kg as compared to 1.5 kg for a pistol gun.
The rifle shooters wear special jackets. This improves their stability and focus from their respective shooting positions. Since the weight of the rifle gun is heavy, the jacket also helps them prevent persistent back injury, which can be caused by the lopsided offset load on the spine.
Basically, rifle shooters wear jackets for the safety of their backs.
Rules for the 10m air rifle event
The 10m air rifle is categorized into three events - men's, women's, and mixed team. In the singles event, each shooter in the men and women category has to fire 60 shots, within a time frame of 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) for men and 40 minutes for women.
The top eight shooters from the qualifying rounds of the singles event will make it to the final, which consists of 24 competitive shots.
In the 10m air rifle mixed team event, a member from each team has to fire 30 shots, so in total 60 shots need to be fired by each team to make it to the top 5. The five top-scoring teams will vie for top three podium finishes in the 10m air rifle mixed team event.
Two Indian shooters won medals in the 10m air rifle at the Olympics
Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang are the two Indian rifle shooters to win medals in the 10m air rifle event at the Olympics. Abhinav Bindra clinched India's lone Olympic gold medal by scoring 700.5 points at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Gagan Narang won the bronze medal by scoring 701.1 points, just 0.4 points behind silver medalist Niccolo Campriani of Italy. Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but only the former reached the final of the men's 10m air rifle and finished 4th with a score of 163.8 points.
Medal prospects for India in the 10m air rifle event at the Tokyo Olympics 2020
Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan are the medal hopefuls for India in the 10m air rifle event. Both youngsters are India's top rifle shooters. In the Tokyo 2020 Rankings, Divyansh Singh Panwar is ranked 2nd in the men's category and Elavenil Valarivan is on the top in the women's category.
Duo Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan will also feature in the 10m air rifle mixed team. Deepak Kumar and Anjum Moudgill will also be in contention for an Olympic medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. They will also be paired in the 10m air rifle mixed team event.
Also Read: Tokyo Olympics Hockey Schedule