Indian teenager shooters can make it big at Tokyo 2020, believes Suma Shirur

Suma Shirur, High Performance coach for the national junior rifle shooting squad, praised teenage shooters Divyansh Panwar and Aishwary Tomar.

Suma Shirur (Left), India junior rifle squad High Performance coach, with Aishwary Tomar (Right) at the RR Lakshya Cup 2019.

Teenagers Divyansh Panwar and Aishwary Tomar are among the top young shooters of the country. Panwar, 17, and Tomar, 18, were in Mumbai to compete at the RR Lakshya Cup 2019 alongside top 20 rifle shooters invited by the Lakshya Shooting Club (LSC). Panwar is ranked world number two in men's 10m air rifle, behind Croatia’s Petar Gorsa and last year had topped the seniors category at the Lakshya Cup 2018. This year, he finished fifth and Tomar was crowned the best seniors shooter at the Lakshya Cup 2019.

The pair are among the 15 marksman who earned 15 Olympic berths in shooting for India at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Panwar earned a quota place in men 10m Air Rifle with a silver medal at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Beijing while Tomar confirmed an Olympic quota in men 50m rifle 3 position, by virtue of a bronze at 2019 Asian Championships in Doha.

Former Olympian Suma Shirur, current High Performance coach for the national junior rifle shooting squad, observed: “The kids thrive on competition. Every young performer is excited and they themselves raise the bar. For example, if they win the silver, the focus next is on the gold and even in the individual scores. This competitive feeling is a chain reaction. From one or two shooters doing well, we have the whole team performing.”

READ | Lakshya Cup 2019: Aishwary Tomar emerges triumphant

Shirur was full of praise for young Panwar who opted to compete in the seniors category at the last year.

“This is really individual courage. Last year as a junior, Divyansh went into competitions not only to win, but to better the world junior record.  He is happy breaking world records, not just winning,” she said.

“Winning mindset and positive attitude makes him an ideal candidate for the finals. I hope he keeps his head on his shoulders and carries his form into Tokyo 2020,” Shirur said of Tomar. 

The Athens Olympian, who trained Tomar at the Madhya Pradesh Shooting Association (MPSA) as chief coach, was happy with her pupil's success.

“I am happy to have my own student from MPSA lifted the title this year, where the competition saw a stiff battle with world class qualification and final scores,” she added.

Tomar and Panwar are Olympic probables in 50m rifle 3 positions and 10m air rifle respectively.