State of Indian Shooting (Part 1): Rifle/Pistol Events

Svk Sengupta

The sport of shooting has been a success story for India. It has produced champions in both Pistol/Rifle Events (viz. Abhinav Bindra, Anjali Bhagwat, Garan Narang, Vijay Kumar & Jaspal Rana), as well as shotgun events (viz. Rajyavardhan Rathore, Ranjan Sodhi, Manavjit Singh Sandhu).

Shooting has mainly two types of events.

1) Rifle/Pistol Events and 2) Shotgun Events

This article delves into the intricacies of the Pistol/Rifle Events.

Pistol/Rifle Events:

This includes

a) 10m Air Rifle: (Which is the most popular event in India, because of none other than Abhinav Bindra)

Other notable shooters in this event are Gagan Narang (Bronze medallist in London Olympics), Anjali Bhagwat, Sanjeev Rajput, Apurvi Chandela, Ayonika Paul, Ravi Kumar & Mehuli Ghosh. This is an event in which India has produced champion shooters consistently.

The future looks bright too, with many young shooters coming up and performing brilliantly in the international events.

b) 10m Air Pistol: This is an event where India have improved tremendously over the last decade. They are yet to win an Olympic Medal in this event, but the future seems very promising. With the likes of Jitu Rai (Former World No 1) and Heena Sidhu still in the fray and youngsters like Manu Bhaker and Rizvi Shahzar (Present World No 1) coming up, this is an event where India can get multiple medals in the next Olympics.

c) 50m Rifle 3 Position: This event has produced medals for India in the past thanks to Gagan Narang and Tejaswini Sawant, but it has never been as popular as the 10m Rifle event. However, with the likes of Moudgil Anjum and Akhil Sheoran doing really well in this discipline, and breaking into the top ten of the world rankings, India can definitely hope for a brighter future.

d) 25m Rapid Fire Pistol: In this event, India had champions like Vijay Kumar in the past. However, in recent years, the performance of Indian shooters in this event has been below par. With the likes of Anish and Neejar Kumar coming up, India would hope to be back in medal contention in this event too.

These are the 4 Rifle/Pistol events which will be a part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

In addition to the men's and women's event, there will also be a mixed event in each of these disciplines.The introduction of the Mixed events will definitely boost India's chances of winning more medals.

The events like 50m Air Pistol and 50m Rifle Prone, which were a part of Rifle/Pistol shooting, have been excluded from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

So with a bunch of young champions across various events coming up, and a rejuvenated bunch of experienced shooters already in the team, India look set to put behind their failures in Rio 2016, and achieve new heights in the coming years.

Edited by Arvind Sriram


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