Shooting World Cup: India set to field strong contingent

The World Cup in March is significant for the Indian shooters with it being the final event before the team is finalised for the Tokyo Olympics.

Dr. Karni Singh Range in Tughalakabad will host the ISSF World Cup.   -  PTI

Host India is set to field a 55-member team, including about 20 shooters in the MQS section, while Olympic power house China will skip the World Cup scheduled to be held at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, from March 16 to 25.

With travel restrictions preventing China from compreting in the World Cup, following the outbreak of the coronavirus, India may be able to extend its fine run of having topped the four World Cups last season, apart from the season-ending World Cup Finals.

The World Cup gains significance for the Indian shooters, not just because of the presence of Olympic qualified shooters from other countries, but also for the reason that it would serve as the final event before the finalisation of the Indian team for the Tokyo Olympics.

Indian shooters have won 15 Olympic quota places, but the national federation has the responsibility of fielding the best shooters in filling up those Olympic quotas.

Read: Shooter Manu Bhaker undeterred by high expectations

Even though the selection policy of the national federation had categorically stated that all the Olympic quota winners would automatically compete in the Delhi World Cup, Chinki Yadav, who won the Olympic quota in the 25-metre sports pistol event, finds herself in the MQS section, and not in the regular team.

Asian Games gold medallist Rahi Sarnobat, Olympian Annu Raj Singh and the versatile Manu Bhaker, find themselves in the main team for sports pistol, based on their top three rank in the event. Chinki had slipped in the rankings following two poor scores at the National Championship and a selection trial.

Korea and Germany will be the next big teams with 41 and 37 shooters respectively, while Kazakhstan (28), Italy (25), US (21), Singapore (18) and Russia (16) will be the other big teams in terms of number of shooters.

The World Cup in Delhi, featuring rifle, pistol and shotgun, will have 566 shooters in all from 70 countries. There will be 861 starts in all, including the mixed events and shooters competing in more than one event.