ISSF World Cup: Stage set for shooters to fire away

The stage is set as top shooters from 50-odd countries compete for 16 Olympic quota places at the ISSF World Cup.

Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary (background) during a training session at the Dr. Karni Singh Range in New Delhi.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

The stage is beautifully set as shooters from 50-odd countries go through the rigours of giving final touches to their preparation for the World Cup at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Wednesday.

The secretary general of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), D.V. Seetharama Rao, said that it was not a big challenge to host a World Cup in rifle and pistol, as India had already hosted many bigger international events. The Administrator, Manjushree Dayanand also stressed that every effort had been made to make the shooters feel at home, by providing the best of facilities.

Read: ISSF issues warning after visa denied to Pakistan shooters

Despite having the top shooters competing for 16 Olympic quota places, the non-arrival of two Pakistani shooters continued to be a topic of discussion.

"They are supposed to come today. We had done everything from our side. Things are beyond our control and it is for the government to decide what is best. Even if the Pakistanis get the visa, it depends on their mental state to come for the World Cup. If they don’t want, they can shoot at the next World Cup," said the NRAI secretary general, looking at the tricky subject in a practical way.

Focus on target

The Indian shooters went about their task with equanimity, unaffected by all the commotion or confusion around them.

"I have prepared well. I know what I can shoot. If I qualify for the final, definitely I will do my best to get the quota place," said Olympian rifle shooter Sanjeev Rajput, who had a memorable season last year.

Sanjeev Rajput, Tejaswini Sawant and Anjum Moudgil strike a happy frame on the eve of the opening ceremony of the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan


On her part, former World Champion in prone, Tejaswini Sawant said that more than anything, she was looking to shoot personal best scores.

Also read: Manu Bhaker gears up in earnest for ISSF World Cup

Anjum Moudgil who has already won the Olympic quota with the World Championship silver in air rifle in Korea last year, said she is looking forward to the event albeit which medal she wins.

"I am really focusing on the preparation, and being ready for the challenge," Anjum said.

Teen shooting sensation Manu Bhaker, who had won gold medals at World Cup in women's and junior category last year, said she has prepared "very hard" and looking forward to the challenge "with an open mind" and not putting any pressure on herself, in terms of expectations.

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