Young Indian shooters are all set to give neck-to-neck competition to their seniors at the Tokyo Olympics. The young Indian shooting contingent is a good mixture of Pistol and Rifle shooters. Some of these budding shooters are currently sitting at the top of the world rankings in their respective events.
The 2016 Summer Olympics did not turn out well for the Indian shooting contingent, with many faltering in the medal-winning rounds. However, given the consistent form exhibited by the young shooters in the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics, 2021 could well be an inflection point in the sport for the nation.
Looking at these young, highly talented shooters, we can surely say that seniors have passed on the baton to potential Olympic medalists for Tokyo Olympics.
Yashaswini Singh Deswal (10m Air Pistol)
The 23-year-old shooter started her journey in 2012 at the age of 15. She represented India at the 2014 Youth Olympics.
Deswal won team gold and individual bronze medals at the 2016 South Asian Games. She then won the gold medal at the 2017 ISSF Junior World Championship.
Deswal brought home the Olympic quota by securing first position at the 2019 ISSF World Cup. Tokyo Olympics will be her maiden Summer Olympic games.
Aishwarya Singh Tomar (50m Rifle, 3 positions)
The 20-year-old, 50m Rifle three-position shooter would be the youngest Indian 50m Rifle shooter at the Tokyo Olympics.
He earned his Olympic berth at the 2019 Asian Championship by winning the bronze medal at the games. Aishwarya then clinched the gold medal at the 2019 ISSF Junior World Cup.
Though he competed in the 10m Air Rifle event as well, he only managed the Olympic berth for the 50m Rifle event. Tomar will be competing in the 50m Rifle three-position event with veteran shooter Sanjeev Rajput.
Manu Bhaker (10m Air Pistol)
The 19-year-old shooter from Haryana became a star in 2017 at the National Shooting Championship. She broke the record of former world number-one shooter Heena Sindhu.
Bhaker made her debut at the Youth Olympics in 2018. In the past three years, she has given incredible performances at many international events. Bhaker won gold medals at the 2018 ISSF World Cup and 2018 Commonwealth Games.
She qualified for the Tokyo Olympics at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Munich where she finished fourth. Bhaker is currently ranked second in the world, and is one of the strongest Indian contenders for a medal in Tokyo.
Saurabh Chaudhary (10m Air Pistol)
The young shooting powerhouse from Haryana is just 18 years old and is ready to compete with international, much senior shooters at the Tokyo Olympics.
Currently ranked 4th in the world, Saurabh qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by winning the gold medal at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.
Saurabh made his debut at the Youth Olympics in 2018 at the age of 16 alongside Manu Bhaker, and won the gold medal. He has also won gold medals at the 2018 Junior World Cup, 2018 Junior Championships and 2018 Asian Games.
Saurabh received the ISSF Golden Target Shooting Award for finishing the 2019 season as the number one ranked shooter in the 10m Air Pistol event.
Divyansh Singh Panwar (10m Air Rifle)
Divyansh is currently the world number one ranked shooter in the 10m Air Rifle event. He won his Olympic quota at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Beijing, where he won the silver medal.
He has four gold medals at ISSF World Cups and two at ISSF Junior World Cups, including both team and individual events, to his name. Divyansh, like Saurabh Chaudhary, received the ISSF Golden Target Shooting Award. He finished 2019 as the number one ranked shooter in the 10m Air Rifle event.
Divyansh will be representing India at the Tokyo Olympics in the 10m Air Rifle event alongside Deepak Kumar.