Shahzar Rizvi back in India squad for shooting World Cups

The 2018 World Cup gold and silver medallist regained his berth for Beijing and Munich thanks to a fine spell in the selection trials.

Shahzar Rizvi with his 10m air pistol silver medal at the Changwon World Cup in April 2018.   -  PTI

Having lost his place in the national squad despite winning World Cup gold and silver medals – with a world record to boot – in 2018, Shahzar Rizvi has fought his way back in for this year’s World Cups in Beijing and Munich, regaining his berth in the team thanks to a fine spell in the selection trials.

Asian Games gold medallist Saurabh Chaudhary, who won the individual and mixed gold medals in the first World Cup of the year in New Delhi in February, topped the rankings, but he has been kept in the minimum qualification score section as he has already won an Olympic quota place. (Under the MQS section, an athlete must record a minimum qualification score at least once in a set time frame to become eligible to take part in the Olympics.)

Abhishek Verma, an Asian Games bronze medallist, managed to hold on to his position in the national team, while the young Arjun Singh Cheema gained the spot vacated by Chaudhary.

The National Rifle Association of India has been categorical in its approach to maximise its chances of winning Olympic quota places.

Thus, Anjum Moudgil will continue to participate in the MQS section in the rifle three positions. Of course, Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela, who won an Olympic quota place at the last World Championships, will continue to shoot in the main event in the women’s air rifle, as a country cannot win more than two Olympic quota places in one event.

Manu Bhaker topped the list in both the air pistol and sports pistol events. She will also compete in the mixed team competition with Chaudhary. The pair hit a world record on the way to the gold both in the World Cup and the Asian Airgun Championships this season.

Rizvi will partner Heena Sidhu in the second team in the mixed pistol team competition.

Divyansh Singh Panwar managed to overtake the air force shooters, the experienced Deepak Kumar and Ravi Kumar, in air rifle and will partner Moudgil in the mixed doubles event. Deepak Kumar will partner Chandela.

Parul Kumar topped the selections in the men’s rifle three positions event ahead of Olympians Sanjeev Rajput and Chain Singh.

The Beijing World Cup will be held from April 22-28 and the World Cup in Munich will be from May 25-30.

The Indian team

Men’s air rifle: Divyansh Singh Panwar, Deepak Kumar, Ravi Kumar.

Men’s rifle three positions: Parul Kumar, Sanjeev Rajput, Chain Singh.

Men’s air pistol: Shahzar Rizvi, Abhishek Verma, Arjun Singh Cheema. MQS: Saurabh Chaudhary.

Men’s 25m rapidfire pistol: Anish Bhanwala, Arpit Goel, Adarsh Singh.

Women’s air rifle: Anjum Moudgil, Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan.

Women’s rifle three positions: Gaayathri Nithyanandam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Kajal Saini. MQS: Anjum Moudgil.

Women’s air pistol: Manu Bhaker, Heena Sidhu, Yashaswini Deswal.

Women’s 25m sports pistol: Manu Bhaker, Rahi Sarnobat, Chinki Yadav.

Air rifle mixed team: Divyansh Singh Panwar, Anjum Moudgil; Deepak Kumar Apurvi Chandela.

Air pistol mixed team: Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary; Shahzar Rizvi, Heena Sidhu.