India signed off from the ISSF World Cup 2021 with 30 medals. Topping the medal tally, India has emerged as a powerhouse in the shooting sport.
The ISSF World Cup 2021 in New Delhi was also a qualification event for the Olympic berth. It was a golden opportunity for shooters to improve their rankings after the pandemic.
While India has already grabbed 15 Olympic berths, there was scope for a 16th Olympic berth. However, the Indian shooting contingent couldn't grab the 16th Olympic berth in either the 25m rapid fire pistol or double trap event.
Indian shooters who missed out on an Olympic berth at the ISSF World Cup 2021
#Gurpreet Singh (25m rapid fire pistol)
Things fell apart quite spectacularly for Olympian Gurpreet Singh at the ISSF World Cup 2021. First, he tested positive for COVID and had to miss out on his training. However, he later tested negative and was allowed to compete.
Secondly, in the final match, Gurpreet had to face a malfunction in his pistol. His hopes of taking a flight to the Tokyo Olympics vanished as he finished sixth in the finals. This also leads to the absence of any Indian Army shooter at the Olympics for the first time since 2000.
Gurpreet, however, managed to clinch the silver medal in the 25m rapid fire mixed event at the ISSF World Cup 2021.
#Kynan Chenai (Double Trap)
Olympian Kynan Chenai was a potential Olympic berth winner for India in the double trap event. If Kynan had clinched a medal it would have helped him improve his ranking to win a quota. However, he missed out on the bronze medal by a whisker, losing to Italy’s Valerio Grazini for third position.
The former Rio Olympic shooter also had to face a malfunction in his weapon during the finals. However, he made a good comeback, but just not enough to reach the podium at the ISSF World Cup 2021.
#Anish Bhanwala (25m rapid fire pistol)
The 19-year-old Anish Bhanwala was fancied to win the 16th Olympic berth for India in the 25m rapid fire pistol event. Anish is the youngest Indian shooter to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth games
He had attained the highest ranking in the team. However, Anish finished in 5th position and missed out on his Olympic berth.
Anish had a rough start and the pressure got the best of him at the ISSF World Cup 2021. Albeit he entered the top 10 rankings, another Indian shooter, Vijayveer, is ahead of him in the 7th position.
Vijayveer Sidhu last hope for India
However, there is still hope for India to gain its 16th Olympic berth. Vijayveer Sidhu produced an extraordinary performance at his maiden senior ISSF World Cup. The young 25m rapid-fire pistol shooter clinched the silver medal at the ISSF World Cup 2021.
Vijayveer Sidhu is now the lone Olympic berth contender for India in shooting for the Tokyo Olympics. Hopes for a 16th Olympic berth are only possible if Peeter Olsek or the Estonian shooting team grab the Olympic berth at the European Championships.
If this happens Vijayveer can claim the Olympic berth based on his world rankings.