One of the leading young shooters of the country, who has two Junior World Championship silver medals against her name, Ayushi Podder has expressed shock about being dropped from her main event, the 50-metre rifle 3-position, for the World University Games to be staged in Chengdu, China, from July 28 to August 8.
The 21-year-old Ayushi was originally selected for both the 10-metre air rifle and 50-metre rifle events way back in 2021. In the latest communication, she has been retained only in the air rifle team in the Games being conducted after two years owing to the covid restrictions in China.
“My main event is 50-metre rifle 3-position. I am under Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) and Khelo India for the same event. I am also among the probables for the upcoming Asian Games for the 3-position event. I am also preparing for the 2024 Olympics for the 50-metre rifle 3-position event. I was second in the trials conducted in 2021 for 120 shots. My medal winning chances are better in the 50-metre event”, wrote Ayushi to the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), but has not received any response.
Interestingly, while the ISSF has brought back the 60-shot format for rifle 3-position event, the University Games are scheduled to have 120-shot format, as was in practice during the last Olympic cycle.
“I am a junior World Championship medallist and also a junior world record holder in 50-metre 3-position event. Then, why am I removed from my main event”, asked Ayushi while seeking to be reinstated in the 50-metre event.
Each country can nominate 10 rifle shooters and 11 pistol shooters for the World University Games.
While depositing the individual expenses of Rs.1,89,000 as her share, Ayushi has assured that she would shoot her best in both air rifle and rifle 3-position if she is allowed to compete as per her original selection.
Sarabjot Singh, Vijayveer Sidhu, Manu Bhaker, Adarsh Singh and Yashaswini Singh Deshwal are the other shooters selected from Ayushi’s team, the Panjab University, Chandigarh.
On another note, there are shooters who have expressed concern about retaining the team selected two years ago in shooting while fresh selection trials were being conducted in other games like archery, athletics, badminton and volleyball as late as June 14 and 15.
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