Shooting is being considered as India's best prospect to win medals at the Tokyo Olympics. Indian shooters have been on an upward curve for the last few years and are going to Tokyo with considerable international success.
The Indian Shooting contingent has an excellent mix of youth and experience. As many as 15 Indian shooters will aim for the podium at the Tokyo Olympics.
On the one hand, we have the youthful success stories of Saurabh Chaudhary, Manu Bhaker, and Elavenil Valarivan. They are complemented by the experience of Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil, Abhishek Verma, Yashaswini Deswal, Deepak Kumar and Rahi Sarnobat among others.
India poised to do well at the Tokyo Olympics Air Pistol events
Indian shooters are expected to get the closest to the podium in the 10m Air Pistol Events.
Saurabh Chaudhary has already won two medals in the 10m Air Pistol Individual events in the 2021 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi and Croatia respectively. He will be confident of repeating his success at the Tokyo Olympics.
Chaudhary will partner with Manu Bhaker in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team event as well, making them a formidable shooting pair.
Manu Bhaker has been the title of a successful shooting tale herself in the past few years. The 19-year old starlet peaked in the international arena with her two gold medals at the 2018 ISSF World Cup at the tender age of 16, becoming the youngest Indian to win a gold medal in the ISSF World Cup event.
Bhaker was recently part of the Indian Women's Team in the 10m Air Rifle event at the 2021 ISSF World Cup in Croatia. Bhaker will compete with her compatriot Yashaswini Deswal in the 10m Air Rifle Women Individual event in addition to her mixed team event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Yashaswini Deswal is ranked fourth in the world and will have her task cut out against Bhaker in the 10m Air Rifle. In addition to her individual event, she will also take to the shooting range with Abhishek Verma in the mixed team event up against fellow Indian pair Chaudhary and Bhaker.
Verma has been consistent over the last few months and will be a worthy challenger in the individual event as well with Chaudhary.
In addition to the 10m Air Rifle events, India will be represented by the highly experienced Rahi Sarnobat in the 25m Air Rifle event as well. Sarnobat is currently ranked 12th in the world.
She won the gold medal at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Munich, Germany, after clinching gold at the 2018 Asian Games as well. Sarnobat bagged the bronze medal in the 10m Air Pistol team event at the 2021 ISSF World Cup in Croatia and has been in decent form.
Bhaker will also be part of the 25m Air Pistol Event but is not likely to come close to Podium at the Tokyo Olympics.
India can be darkhorses at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Air Rifle Events
The Indian Rifle Shooters can cause a lot of upsets if they get their shots right and are consistent at the Tokyo Olympics. The likes of Deepak Kumar, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Sanjeev Rajput, Aishwary Tomar, Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant and Elavenil Valarivan have tasted success consistently in various competitions in the run up to the Olympics.
Anjum Moudgil was the first Indian shooter to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics after her consecutive silver medal finishes at the 2018 ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea. Moudgil will be a challenger for the podium in the 50m Air Rifle 3 position.
Tejaswini Sawant will accompany Moudgil but is not slated to compete for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the individual events.
Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar will battle it out in the 10m Air Rifle event. Panwar will be partnered with young starlet Elavenil Valarivan in the mixed team event and is expected to qualify for the finals along with the pair of Kumar and Moudgil.
Valarivan will also be accompanied by veteran Apurvi Chandela in the 10m Air Rifle event but are unlikely to breach the podium.
Angad Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmed Khan are India's sole shotgun representatives at the Tokyo Olympics. They will have a tough task ahead of them to challenge for possible medals courtesy of greater challengers from international shooters in their Skeet events.