A 34-strong Indian shooting squad, including many new faces, is gearing up to compete in the year's first ISSF World Cup (rifle/pistol) and the first since the Tokyo Olympics, competitions for which will begin here from Monday.
The event will start with the men's 10m air rifle qualification relays and end on March 7, with the 25m rapid fire pistol mixed team competition.
India has a lot of new faces from the squad which represented the country in their previous assignment -- the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The men's air rifle squad, which will go first, is led by Tokyo Olympian Divyansh Singh Panwar, with Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil and Srinjoy Dutta completing the troika of medal hopefuls.
Rudrankksh and Dutta will be on their first senior India assignments and represented the country at the Junior World Championships last year where Rudrankksh won a silver.
National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) secretary general K Sultan Singh wished the team ahead of the competition and expressed optimism of a good outing.
"We are confident that the team has been well prepared to deliver the desired performances for the country in Cairo. There are a lot of new young faces who have a lot of potential as well as established international performers and therefore we believe that our good run in ISSF events will continue," he said.
"It is important to begin the international season well as it boosts confidence for the rest of the year. We wish all the coaches, physios and athletes all the very best and hope they make full use of the opportunity to bring glory to the nation." Seasoned India coach and former shooter Samaresh Jung also shared his views saying, "It is a new season, lots of new faces and hopefully a new fresh beginning for Indian shooting. The team has settled down well and we look forward to giving our best as usual." The first medal events will be held on Monday, when both the men's and women's Air rifle finals are scheduled.
The new ISSF rules and formats will be in use for the first time in a World Cup stage in Cairo. They were first tested at the President's Cup last year.
Over 500 athletes from 60 nations will take part in the Cairo World Cup which has 20 medals on offer.
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