Indian players who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics so far - Part 1
With just eight months remaining for the biggest sporting extravaganza to kick start in Tokyo, all eyes will be on our Indian athletes, who will give their best to make the nation proud at the highest level.
As of this writing, 60 Indian players, including members of two hockey teams have qualified for the 2020 Olympics which will take place in the capital city of Japan from July 24th to August 10th.
Team India had a rather forgettable stint at the 2016 Olympics as the nation bagged just two medals, P.V Sindhu's silver medal in Badminton and a bronze medal in Wrestling through Sakshi Malik.
However, as people say "The past is the past, you cant change it. All you can do is look forward to the future," and with the hopes of excelling and bettering the past performance, the Indian athletes will set out on a quest to fulfill the long-awaited dream of winning multiple gold medals.
Below is the first list of the Indian athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
Indian shooters have clinched an unprecedented 15 spots for the next year's Olympics which is three more than Rio and four more than London. In terms of the number of quotas, India is currently at the 4th spot behind China (25), USA (21) and Russia (17).
It is worth mentioning that the players secure the Olympic quota for the nation and it is up to the Sports body of the respective country to decide whether the qualified shooter will make the mark or some other shooter will go, below is the list of the male shooters who have secured the Olympic quota for the country, list of the female shooters is included in second part of this article.
1) Saurabh Chaudhary - This teenage sensation from Meerut is on a dream run in the last couple of years, his performance in 2019 is beyond outstanding. He secured the Olympic quota for India by creating a new World Record in the final of 10m Air Pistol in the New Delhi World Cup. In the same tournament, he also won the gold medal in a mixed team Pistol event along with Manu Bhaker. He went one step ahead in Munich World Cup by shattering his own World Record of 245.0 by scoring 246.3 to win the Gold. A former Youth Olympics champion, Saurabh is currently ranked World No. 3 in his event.
2) Abhishek Verma - Man from Palwal, Haryana and a lawyer turned shooter, Abhishek Verma, who took up the sport just 4 years back bagged the Olympic Quota by winning gold in the men's 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in China. He also finished as a Champion in Rio De Janeiro World Cup after scoring 244.2 in the finals. Before taking his law degree, he also completed the Bachelors of Technology in Computer Science. He was selected in the Indian Senior team in 2018 and is currently ranked World No. 2 in the men's 10m Air Pistol event.
3) Angad Bajwa - Angad is one of the two shotgun shooters who have secured the Olympic quota for India. He got the better of his compatriot and fellow Indian Mairaj Ahmed Khan 6-5 in the shoot-off for the gold medal match at the 14th Asian Championships in Doha. Apart from winning the gold, he also secured the silver medal in the mixed team event, with Ganemat Sekhon. Angad, who shot into limelight after winning the gold in Asian Shotgun Championships last year also holds the world record of shooting 60 out of 60 in the finals of the same event. With that victory, he also became the first Indian skeet shooter to win the yellow metal at any continental or world level event.
4) Divyansh Singh Pawar - Another Indian teenage shooting sensation, Divyansh,17, grabbed the Olympic quota for the country after winning the silver in men's 10m Air Rifle event at ISSF World Cup in Beijing earlier this year. This was only his second international tournament at the senior level, first one being the Delhi World Cup just a couple of months before this one. He scored 249 points in the final and missed the gold by just a whisker but he didn't give up on the top spot as he along with Anjum Moudgil clinched the gold in the mixed team event. Later on, he went on to win the gold in ISSF Munich World Cup and bronze in Rio World Cup in the same event. He will now be competing in the World Cup finals which takes place in China from the
5) Mairaj Ahmed Khan - Mairaj took the silver medal and booked the Olympic berth in the same event as Angad. A veteran marksman, who started his professional career in the year 2000, will be aiming for the podium finish in his second Olympics, in Rio, he finished at 9th spot thus missing the finals by a small margin. He was also India's first skeet medalist at the World Cup level. 44 years old from Bulanshahar achieved this feat by winning the silver at Rio World Cup in 2016.
6) Deepak Kumar - Deepak became the 10th Indian shooter to grab the Olympic quota after winning the bronze medal in men's 10m Air Rifle event in the recently concluded 14th Asian Championships in Doha. The Air Force marksman shot 227.8 in the finals and was behind the two Chinese, Yukun Liu (250.5) and Haonan Yu (249.1). Born in Delhi, this World No. 9 shooter will also be competing in the mixed-gender event which will take place for the very first time in Olympics history.
7) Sanjeev Rajput - A veteran in the field, Sanjeev started his professional career in 2004 and has over 15 years of experience in the game. He qualified for the Olympics after winning silver in men's 50m Rifle 3 position event in Rio this year. Reigning Commonwealth Games Champion, Sanjeev, who has already participated in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics will be looking to make the most of his third opportunity at the biggest sporting stage. Currently the 5th best shooter in the world in his event, he was also conferred with Arjuna Award in 2010.
8) Aishwarya Singh Tomar - Aishwarya won the bronze medal in the 50m Rifle 3 position event at 2019 Asian Shooting Championships in Doha this month and secured India's 13th quota in Shooting and second in 3 position Rifle event after Sanjeev Rajput. Born in Ratnapur, Madhya Pradesh, this 18 year old also created the Junior World Record in the same discipline by scoring 459.3 points at 2019 ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl.