Shooting: Down to individual skills

With the team competition scrapped at this year’s Games, India will find it difficult to take on the giants of the sport — China, Korea and Japan.

Manu Bhaker will be among India's brightest medal prospects in the Asian Games.   -  GETTY IMAGES

India has won seven gold medals, 17 silver and 25 bronze at the Asian Games, the best performance coming in Doha in 2006 — three gold, five silver and six bronze medals, with Jaspal Rana winning the 25m standard pistol gold as well as the 25m centre-fire pistol individual and team golds, with a world record in the 25m centre-fire pistol. Twelve years before that, he won the 25m centre-fire pistol event at the Hiroshima Games.

The country had a lukewarm performance at the 2014 Games in Incheon, with only Jitu Rai winning gold, in the 50m pistol event. The men’s 25m centre-fire pistol team won the silver medal, while India won seven bronze medals, including four in team events.

This year, with the team competition scrapped, India will find it difficult to take on the giants of the sport — China, Korea and Japan.

Commonwealth Games gold medallists Anish Bhanwala and Manu Bhaker will need to be at their best with the pistol. But 18-year-old Elavenil Valarivan is in top form, setting a world record on her way to the 10m air rifle gold medal at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney earlier this year.

The presence of experienced shooters like Sanjeev Rajput, Ravi Kumar, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Ankur Mittal, Heena Sidhu, Rahi Sarnobat, Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil and Shreyasi Singh should strengthen India’s chances of medals.

Squad
Men’s: Sanjeev Rajput, Akhil Sheoran, Ravi Kumar, Deepak Kumar, Harjinder Singh, Amit Kumar, Abhishek Verma, Saurabh Chaudhary, Shivam Shukla, Anish Bhanwala, Lakshay Sheoran, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Sheeraz Sheikh, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, Ankur Mittal, Shardul Vihan
Women’s: Manu Bhaker, Apurvi Chandela, Shreyasi Singh, Anjum Moudgil, Gayathri N, Elavenil Valarivan, Heena Sidhu, Rahi Sarnobat, Seema Tomar, Ganemat Sekhon, Rashmi Rathore, Varsha Varman