What is the 10m air pistol event at the Tokyo Olympics all about, and which Indians can win gold in that discipline?

Manu Bhaker.
Manu Bhaker.

Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary will start as the favorites in the 10m air pistol event at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. India will be sending 15 shooters to the Games, the second-largest contingent for a discipline behind hockey, for the Tokyo Olympics. Boasting multiple world and continental medalists, India will take to the shooting range as one of the medal contenders.

Shooting is one of the original nine sports that featured at the Athens Games in 1896. Since then, it has been one of the marquee disciplines at the Olympics, with the exception of the 1904 and 1928 editions where shooting events were not held. A separate event for women was added in 1984 at the Los Angeles Games.

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What is 10m air pistol and its rules?

The pistol used in the event is a single-loaded 4.5mm caliber gun. The rules of a 10m air pistol are the same as that of a 10m Air Rifle.

There are three categories in the 10m air pistol- men’s, women’s and mixed team. Each shooter in the singles event fires 60 shots within a timeframe of one hour and 15 minutes. The top eight scorers then move to the medal rounds consisting of 24 competitive shots.

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In the mixed event, on the other hand, each team member fires 40 shots. The five top-scoring teams then battle it out for a podium finish in the 10m air pistol event.

India’s Olympic history in shooting

India has won four medals at the Olympic Games in shooting. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was the first shooter to win a medal for India. He bagged silver at the 2004 Athens Games in Men’s double trap. Abhinav Bindra bettered the record when he won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.

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He won the title in the10m air rifle and is the only Indian to win an individual Olympic gold. At the 2012 London Games, Vijay Kumar (Men’s 25 Rapid Fire Pistol) and Gagan Narang (Men’s 10m Air Rifle) won silver and bronze, respectively.

Who are the medal contenders in 10m air pistol for India at the Tokyo Olympics?

Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary will be the headliners for India in the 10m air pistol discipline. The sensational teenage duo has been the face of Indian shooting since 2018. However, there will be stiff competition from their teammates Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Deswal, who are currently world No.1 in their respective categories.

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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