Welcome to Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Championship 2022 in Cairo, Egypt. This is Santadeep Dey, bringing you all the action.
Stay tuned! the live coverage begins at 2:30pm.
TODAY’S SCHEDULE IN IST ( Senior quota-bearing events only)
2:30pm: 25m rapid fire pistol men stage 2
8:30pm: Final 25m pistol men
Olympians Manu Bhaker, Elavenil Valarivan, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Anjum Moudgil and Vijay Kumar headline the list of 22 senior Indian athletes eligible for a Paris Olympics 2024 quota at the ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Championship, starting October 12 in Cairo.
Contemporaries Vijayveer Sidhu and Rhythm Sangwan will feature in two individual events each and hence are the only shooters who will have two shots at the quota places.
A total of 32 Olympic quotas will be on offer in the Egyptian capital. Of these, eight quotas – four in men and as many in women’s disciplines – will be in each 10m air rifle, 50m rifle 3 positions, and 10m air pistol. There will also be eight quotas up for equal distribution between participants in men’s 25m rapid fire pistol and women’s 25m sports pistol.
In the ongoing Olympic cycle – which started on August 14 this year and will conclude on June 9, 2024 – 32 berths in the Paris 2024 bus have already been taken via competitions. Only one of these has been won by India, thus far, with Bhowneesh Mendiratta finishing fourth in men’s trap at the recently concluded Shotgun Worlds in Osijek.
There are 340 Paris Olympic quotas assigned to the world body of shooting by the International Olympic Committee. While 300 of these are rewarded through competitions, the remaining are distributed to the host (12), Universality place holders (16) and the highest-ranked athletes in each discipline during the Olympic qualification period (12).
With each National Olympic Committee allowed 24 quotas (12 for men and 12 for women) across all events, there is much to fight for.
Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil and Arjun Babuta are favourites to lay hands on India’s first rifle quota on October 14. Babuta, currently ranked No. 1 in the country, gave a glimpse of exemplary mental strength after finishing with a silver medal in the 36th National Games in Gujarat, despite just managing to squeeze through to the eight-man final earlier. Patil was the gold medallist at the event.
Among women, all eyes will be on Mehuli Ghosh, who has, in 2022, started training at Gagan Narang’s Gun for Glory, having moved over from the Joydeep Karmakar Shooting Academy. Her coach Bibaswan Ganguly is confident of her chances, the shooter having maintained the best average score of 629.58 among all 10m rifle wielders in NRAI’s Stage 2 and Stage 3 competitions, which concluded with the sixth selection trials in August.
Meanwhile, Vijayveer will be India’s best bet to return home with a pistol quota. Participating in both 10m air and 25m rapid fire pistol, the Punjab lad is on a hot streak, having won both the 10m air pistol events (individual and mixed) at NGG 2022. The individual round would serve as more of a confidence booster, with him having scored an emphatic 17-5 win over Shiva Narwal. He had missed the 25m rapid fire event as he had to appear for an examination.
With Bhaker suffering from a poor run of form and Esha Singh in the junior team, Rhythm emerges as the strongest contender for a pistol quota among women. The Haryana shooter was consistent with her performances in Gujarat 2022, winning three medals in 10m air pistol (silver in individual and bronze in mixed team) and 25m sports pistol (silver).
The contest in 50m 3P is tighter, and it will all depend on who can keep their calm on the day of the competition.
– Santadeep Dey
WHERE TO WATCH ISSF SHOOTING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP?
A few finals will be available for live streaming on Olympics’ official YouTube channel.