Commonwealth Games 2018: Indian National Shooting squad set to fire in Gold Coast
A 27-member Indian Shooting contingent is all set to fire, as the Shooting competitions for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) get underway on day four of competitions, at the Belmont Shooting Complex on Sunday, April 8.
The opening day of the seven-day competition has three of the 17 finals scheduled. The Women’s 10m Air Pistol will shell out the first Shooting Gold medal of the competition, followed by the Men’s 10m Air Rifle and the Women’s Skeet.
India has two competitors in each of the events. In the day’s first final scheduled for 7.30am IST, India’s Heena Sidhu and Manu Bhaker will vie for the Gold in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol. The top eight make it to the final from the 25-strong field in qualification, which begins at 4.30am IST.
Manu who is in sublime form having collected six International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Gold medals in the last month and Heena, will be challenged among others by Singapore’s Shun Xie Teo, the defending champion in the event and the host country’s Lalita Yauhleuskaya, an Olympics Bronze medalist.
The Men’s 10m Air Rifle final is scheduled next for 9.00 am IST and India are in strong contention for Gold here too. World number four, Ravi Kumar won his first ISSF World Cup medal last month and has been shooting well over the past 12 months or so. World number 11 Deepak Kumar is the second Indian in the draw. Among the 18 competitors, Australia’s Dane Sampson and Malaysia’s Muhammad Nasir Khan have the best credentials to challenge the Indians, with both having reached the finals of the event in the last games in Glasgow.
Maheshwari Chauhan and Saniya Sheikh are the two Indians in the fray among 11 entries in the Women’s Skeet. The last shooting final of the day is scheduled for 11.15am IST. Australia’s Aislin Jones, who won the Junior World Cup last month and England’s Amber Hill, a Rio Olympics finalist, start favourites in the event.
In the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, India had won a total of 17 medals in Shooting, including four Gold medals.