Apurvi Chandela can win two Tokyo 2020 medals: Anjali Bhagwat

Apurvi Chandela was the first markswoman to bag an Olympic quota in 10m air rifle at the ISSF World Championship in September 2018, alongside Anjum Moudgil.

Apurvi Chandela is one of the medal hopefuls at the Tokyo Olympics.

Apurvi Chandela is one of the medal hopefuls at the Tokyo Olympics.   -  ISSF

Khel Ratna awardee and Asian Games medallist Anjali Bhagwat, who has represented India in three consecutive Olympics, believes current World No. 3 Apurvi Chandela has the potential to win two medals at the upcoming quadrennial mega-event in Tokyo.

A 2000 Sydney Games finalist, Bhagwat said: "Apurvi has had a fantastic year. She was World No. 1, for the longest time. She has won the World Cup and has two gold medals. She had Commonwealth Games medals last time too. The new event that has been introduced in the Olympics, that is the mixed team event, she has performed very well in that too, so we have two probabilities of medals from her there."

Bhagwat, one of the jury members for the Sportstar Aces Awards, was at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai for the ceremony on Monday.

Bhagwat played a role in adjudging Apurvi the 'Sportswoman of the Year' in the 'Individual Sports' category and the 19-year-old Mehuli Ghosh the 'Young Athlete of the Year'.

Heaping praise on the young Mehuli, she said: "Mehuli has been trying to play catch-up with the seniors Anjum (Moudgil) and Apurvi and she has given world-class performances. But unfortunately, she was not in the direct qualification rounds, so it was not officially recorded, but she has given fantastic performances. She has a bright future and time in hand, as well."

READ | ISSF rankings: India finishes 2019 as No. 1

The Birmingham 2022 organisers, who initially dropped shooting from the schedule, have now reinstated it in India. "It is better to have something than nothing. There will be new shooters who will be competing in the Commonwealth Championships, and they will get to enter the international arena," Bhagwat said.

"You know that is the base for you to upgrade yourself to Asian Games and then from there to World Cup. That is the entry point for the newcomers. So I am happy that it is happening and in India. We have our hopes up."

India topped the medal tally at each of the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cups this season, finishing the year with a whopping 21 gold medals, six gold and three bronze. Bhagwat, however, believes there is more to the achievement than just the medals.

"Let us not talk about the medals. We are looking forward to some great performances in the Olympics. Everybody is in their peak form. And they had a very good run for the last couple of years, right from the Commonwealth Games to the Asian Games, to the World Cups. Also four to five shooters were ranked World No. 1 this time. So just keeping our fingers crossed for the good perfromances."

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