In the Olympics Games, the sport of shooting has been India's most productive event in the last 2 decades. It has given India as many as four Olympic medallists, including it's first ever individual gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra. Although India has been producing many champion shooters across various disciplines for quite sometime, but as a nation, India became a shooting powerhouse only in 2019.
The year 2019 has been the watershed year for Indian shooting. India topped the combined medals tally in the World Cup events of 2019 winning as many as 19 gold medals in the various ISSF events in alone. This is an unbelievable achievement, considering the fact that they had won only 17 gold medals in the previous 9 years combined.
India's rise as a shooting powerhouse has made them the favourite to win the maximum number of gold medals in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In this article we try and pick the 5 most promising Indian shooters, who have the highest probability of winning gold in Tokyo.
#1 Abhishek Verma | 10m Air Pistol Men
Abhishek Verma is presently World number 2 in the 10m Air Pistol. He had a splendid 2019, where we won 2 gold medals in the ISSF World Cups in Rio de Janerio and Beijing. He also won a silver medal in the Asian Championships 2019 and a bronze in the 2018 Asian Games. Verma has established himself as one of the best shooters in the world. If he is able to carry on his good form in the Tokyo Olympics, then he will surely be one of the favourites to win the gold medal.
#2 Manu Bhaker | 10m Air Pistol Women
In this discipline world number 3 Manu Bhaker is India's best bet in the Tokyo Olympics. The teenage sensation and Youth Olympic champion, Manu Bhaker has already won a ISSF World Cup gold medal. She has established herself as one of the best shooters in the world. If she is able to hold her nerve and shoot well, then she is a serious contender for the gold Medal in the 10m Air Pistol Event in Tokyo.
#3 Elavenil Valarivan | 10m Air Rifle Women
In the Women 10m Air Rifle discipline India's young sensation Elavenil Valarivan is presently ranked Number 1 in the World. From being Junior World Number 1 in 2018, Valarivan has graduated to become the senior world number 1 in no time. She has won the gold Medal in the ISSF World Cup 2019 in Putian. If she is able to continue her golden run of form in the Tokyo Olympics, then she will be a firm favourite to win the gold medal in her discipline.
#4 Divyansh Singh Panwar |10m Air Rifle Men
World number 2 Divyansh Singh Panwar is India's best bet in the Men's 10m Air Rifle discipline. He has been in terrific form in the last two years and has won medals in almost all the big International events, including a gold Medal in the ISSF World Cup Final in Putian. If Panwar is able to perform at his best,then he is one of the favourites to win the gold Medal in the Men's10m Air Rifle event in Tokyo.
#5 Apurvi Chandela | 10m Air Rifle Women
In the Women's 10m Air Rifle discipline, Apurvi Chandela is one of India's most successful shooters of all time. She is presently ranked number 5 in the world. In 2019, Apurvi managed to win 2 gold Medals in the ISSF World Cup events in New Delhi and Munich.
She has won almost all the big international shooting events in her illustrious careeer, except the Olympics. So she would give her very best to win the illusive Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. If the Jaipur girl shoots well she will be a real contender for the gold medal.
Published 13 Feb 2020, 11:55 IST