What's the story?
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has announced a 17-member squad for the Olympic test event to be held in Tokyo in the month of April.
In case you didn't know
The Indian shooters have claimed a record 15 quota places for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. These quota places are split across multiple events in both the men's and women's category.
The Indian men shooters have won two quota places each in the 10 m Air Rifle, 50 m Rifle 3 Position, 10m Air Pistol and Skeet events. The women have bagged two quota places each in the 10m Air Rifle, 10m Air Pistol and 25m pistol events and one quota in the 50m Rifle 3 Position event.
Additionally, the Indian shooters have also qualified for the 10m Air Rifle and 10m Air Pistol mixed team events at the Olympics.
Heart of the matter
The 17-member strong shooting squad for the Olympic test event will be competing in the competition that is set to be organised at the Asanka Shooting Range in Tokyo from 16th to 25th April.
The Olympic test event is held primarily for the shooters who have qualified for the Olympic Games. The event gives an opportunity for these shooters to get acclimatised with the conditions and also allows the organisers to test the facilities at the range.
Other than Tejaswini Sawant, all the other 14 Indian shooters who have qualified for the Olympics are included in the 17-member squad. Anjum Moudgil, who won the quota place in the women's 10 m Air Rifle event, would be participating in the women's 50 m Rifle 3 Position event in place of Sawant.
Elavenil Valarivan, who has been in brilliant form off late and finished 2019 as the No.1 shooter in the world, has been awarded a spot in the women's 10m Air Rifle event instead of Moudgil. She will be participating in this event along with Apurvi Chandela.
The rest of the squad is more or less on the expected lines. The young Chinki Yadav, who had won the quota place in the women's 25m pistol event, has been named for this event ahead of Manu Bhaker.
Although India have not won a quota place in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event, they could still make it to the Olympics on the basis of World Rankings. Considering that, Anish Bhanwala and Adarsh Singh have been selected in the team for this event.
Following is the full Indian squad for the Olympic test event -
Men's Team -
10m Air Rifle: Divyansh Singh Panwar and Deepak Kumar
10m Air Pistol: Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary
50m Rifle 3-Position: Sanjeev Rajput and Aishwary Pratap Singh
25m Rapid Fire Pistol: Anish Bhanwala and Adarsh Singh
Skeet: Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa
Women's Team -
10m Air Rifle: Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan
10m Air Pistol: Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Singh Deswal
50m Rifle 3 Position: Anjum Moudgil
25m Pistol: Rahi Sarnobat and Chinki Yadav
Mixed air rifle - Divyansh Singh Panwar and Apurvi Chandela, Deepak Kumar and Elavenil Valarivan
Mixed air pistol - Abhishek Verma and Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary and Yashaswini Singh Deswal
The Indian shooting team topped the World Cups medal tally last year and will be hoping to continue with their good form in this crucial Olympic year.
The Olympic test event will give them a very good opportunity to acclimatise themselves with the conditions at the shooting range. The experience gained would certainly hold them in good stead at the Tokyo Olympics.
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