Moraad Ali Khan: Indians will win 80 per cent of shooting medals

Moraad Ali Khan's assertion is based on the performance of Indian shooters in the recent World Cups.

Moraad Ali Khan, a former CWG gold medallist.   -  MOHAMMED YOUSUF

Indian shooters will win 80 per cent of the medals in events they compete in at next month’s Commonwealth Games, former CWG gold-medallist Moraad Ali Khan said today, basing his confidence on the brilliant form shown by youngsters in the recent World Cups.

Read: Bhaker-Anmol duo wins gold at ISSF Junior World Cup

“Colour of the medals is impossible to predict but I am sure they will come back with 80 per cent of the medals from the events they are competing in,” Khan, who won a trap gold at the 2002 Manchester Games, said at a function to send good wishes for the CWG contingent.

India have fielded 27-strong shooting team -- 15 men and 12 women -- for the Games starting April 4 in Gold Coast.

There are seasoned campaigners such as Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Sanjeev Rajput, Heena Sidhu and Tejaswini Sawant but the spotlight would also be on the likes of teen sensations Manu Bhaker, Anish Bhanwala and Mehuli Ghosh.

While Manu (16) and Mehuli (17) claimed medals in their maiden senior World Cups, Anish (15) won a gold at the Junior World Cup yesterday.

“The youngsters are doing really well. We have got world beaters and seeing that I am confident that India will be winning a majority of medals at the Commonwealth Games. We have a chance in every event that we are competing in,” he asserted.

“Of course, certain events are easy while some others are quite tough but today we have a lot of world-ranked shooters. The kind of support and exposure these shooters are getting is fantastic,” he added.

The performance at the recent senior World Cup, where India finished on top with four gold, a silver and four bronze, coupled with continuing fine show at the ongoing junior World Cup in Sydney has raised hopes of a good medal haul at the CWG.

It will be a massive solace for the shooters, who had drawn flak for not winning a single medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

India is second in the all-time CWG medal list for shooting with 118 medals -- 56 gold, 40 silver and 22 bronze.

“We have made a lot of changes. We have concentrated on bench strength, we have realised that we have to move away from big names. Shooting is a dynamic sport and even though chances of a champion winning is more, the youngsters are as much a favourite as them,” he said.

“Lot of youngsters will win at CWG,” he added.

Moraad also lauded the revamped import policy which allows shooters to get equipment without heavy cost.

“I paid a duty of nearly Rs two lakh for my gun which for a shooter who gets a national qualification mark is free now. Relaxation in import is helping,” he said.

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