India at Olympics 2021: Age no bar for Indian skeet shooter Mairaj Ahmad Khan

Mairaj on Olympics 2021 (day-1)- Skeet shooting
Mairaj on Olympics 2021 (day-1)- Skeet shooting

Since starting his journey as a cricketer and his switch to becoming a pioneer of Indian skeet shooting, Mairaj Ahmad Khan has had a memorable journey so far.

He made a commendable transition to become one of India's best skeet shooters.

The Indian skeet shooter is 45 years old and is the oldest athlete in the Indian contingent at the Olympics 2021. His presence at the Olympics is the best example of the old adage that "age is just a number'.

This is Mairaj's second consecutive Olympic appearance. Mairaj cannot get enough of Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer. Moving forward in his journey, at the age of 45 and dreaming of giving a tough competition, Mairaj has drawn inspiration from the Swiss tennis legend.

Mairaj's Journey:

Born on November 2, 1975, in Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh, Mairaj Ahmad Khan hailed from a shooter's family. Shooting was in his genes, but he preferred cricket over shooting.

But later when he realized that it was not easy to don the Indian jersey, Mairaj shifted his focus towards shooting. Mairaj picked up the skeet shooting at the age of 24. He did well during his national championships and witnessed a steady rise in the ranks.

Mairaj's Olympic journey:

Mairaj's Olympic journey was supposed to start at the 2012 London Games. But an unfortunate incident stopped him from making his Olympic debut in London. He was allegedly involved in a poaching case. Mairaj was not in a great state of mind and fell short of securing an Olympic quota place at the World Cup qualification in Qatar early in 2012.

Mairaj didn’t let the disappointment last long. He secured the Rio 2016 quota at the 2015 World Championship in Lonato, Italy. He became the first Indian skeet shooter to secure an Olympic berth at the age of 40. However, Mairaj fell short of making it to the medal round after he lost in the shoot-off.

Mairaj's Olympics 2021 qalification and his day 1 performance:

Mairaj Ahmad Khan qualified for Tokyo 2020 with a silver medal finish at the 2019 Asian Championships in Qatar.

Mairaj Ahmad Khan entered the Tokyo Games as World No.24. On day one of the Olympics, the 45-year-old scored 71/75 targets in a total of 3 rounds. His compatriot Angad Vir Singh Bajwa scored 73/75 targets. Neither of them were placed in the top 5 by the end of the first day.

With a score of 71/75, Mairaj is listed at the bottom of the charts. He is placed in the 25th spot and will find it tough to make a comeback.

Let's look at the skeet shooters positions:

Angad Bajwa is now placed eighth and Mairaj Khan sits 25th. USA’s Vincent Hancock tops the scoreboard after a perfect 75 in three rounds. A total of 30 shooters are competing at the men's skeet event. The top six shooters will be through to the finals.

The remaining two rounds of qualifying and the final for the men’s skeet shooting competition will take place on Monday.

Also read: India in Tokyo Olympics 2021 India Schedule

Do you think Mairaj Khan and Angad Bajwa will qualify for the finals in skeet shooting at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics?

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Edited by Diptanil
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