Shooting has been one of India's most rewarding Olympic sport in the last couple of decades. Over the years, India has produced many champion shooters in all three disciplines of shooting - Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun events.
The sport had given India its first-ever individual Olympic gold medallist, with Abhinav Bindra bagging the Gold in the men's 10m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It has also given the country three other Olympic medallists, viz. Rajyavardhan Rathore (Silver in the men's Double Trap event at the 2004 Athens Olympics), Vijay Kumar (Silver in the men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Event at the 2012 London Olympics) and Gagan Narang (Bronze in the men's 10m Air Rifle event at the 2012 London Olympics).
Apart from the Olympics, India has been consistently winning medals in shooting in other multi-sport events like the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.
After the disappointment of the Rio Olympics 2016, where India failed to win even a single medal in shooting, the sport has seen a revival especially in the last couple of years. With the arrival of several young and talented shooters, India has been a dominant force in the shooting world. The Indian shooting contingent finished atop the medal tally at the various International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cups held in 2019 with 21 Gold medals. The Indian shooters would be hoping to continue this brilliant run at the Tokyo Olympics 2021 and return home with at least a handful of medals.
Considering their consistent performances, it is no surprise that the Indian shooters are dominating the ISSF World rankings in multiple events. Let us have a look at the Indian shooters who are ranked among the top 3 in the world in their respective events.
#4 Manu Bhaker
Manu Bhaker is currently ranked number 2 in the world in the Women's 10m Air Pistol discipline. Manu, who is just 18 years old, has already established herself as one of the best shooters in the world at this tender age. Manu rose to fame when she won the gold medal in the women's 10m Air Pistol event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast. There has been no looking back ever since as she continued to dominate the event by winning a Gold each at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires and the 2019 ISSF World Cup finals in Putian. This is apart from the four other gold medals she won in the 10m Air Pistol mixed team event at the various World Cups in 2019. She would be hoping to continue this brilliant run and become the first female Indian shooter to win an Olympic Gold.
#3 Abhishek Verma
Abhishek Verma is currently World Number 2 in the men's 10m Air Pistol event. He had a splendid 2019, where we won 2 gold medals at the ISSF World Cups held in Rio de Janerio and Beijing. Previously he had won a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games. With his consistent performances, Verma has established himself as one of the best shooters in the world. If he can sustain his good form, he can not only become the number 1 ranked shooter in the world shortly but also bring laurels to the country at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
#2 Divyansh Singh Panwar
The 17-year old Divyansh Singh Panwar is not only India's highest-ranked men's 10m Air Rifle shooter but also holds the Number 1 ranking in the world. This teenage sensation from Jaipur has been in terrific form in the last couple of years. He has won medals in almost all the major international competitions in which he participated. In the year 2019, Divyansh won a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup Final in Putian, a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing and a gold medal at the Asian Airgun Championships in Taoyuan. Divyansh has had a promising start to his young career and would be hoping to continue this winning momentum by emulating Abhinav Bindra's effort of winning a Gold medal at the Olympics.
#1 Elavenil Valarivan
India's young sensation Elavenil Valarivan is currently ranked Number 1 in the world in the Women's 10m Air Rifle event. She followed her gold medal-winning effort at the 2019 Rio de Janeiro World Cup with another gold medal at the 2019 ISSF World Cup finals in Putian. These consistent performances helped the fast-rising shooter from Tamil Nadu leapfrog her more experienced colleagues Anjum Moudgil (World No. 4) and Apurvi Chandela (World No. 7) to become the number one female air rifle shooter in the world. It has been a phenomenal rise for Elavenil from the junior to the senior ranks and she would be hoping to continue her fairytale journey by bagging a medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.