Shooting set to return in a new avatar

India will be hoping to dominate when the first final of the Shooting World Cup is held at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Saturday.

Anjum Moudgil (in picture) and Apurvi Chandela won the first two Olympic quota for the Tokyo Games in 2018.   -  S. Mahinsha

The host will look to continue its global domination in shooting when the first final of the World Cup is held at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Saturday.

After the pandemic, shooting, especially in rifle and pistol events, will return in a new avatar.

The qualification for air rifle men and women will be shot on Friday. The finals for both the events, apart from the air pistol for men and women, will be staged on Saturday.

The programme will continue with the team competition for air rifle and air pistol on the third day, Sunday.

Earlier, every event used to start and finish in one day, except for the shotgun events, and rapid fire pistol, which required two stages of competition over two days.

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India had topped the medals table in all the four World Cups in rifle and pistol in 2019. It also went on to top the table in the elite competition, the World Cup Final.

After the topsy turvy scores during the selection trials, at least in some cases, it will be interesting to see how the Olympics-bound Indian shooters fare.

Time flies. It was in the World Championship in 2018 that Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela won the first two Olympic quota for the Tokyo Games with the silver medal and the fourth place respectively.

After sustaining their shooting for two years, both have accepted the challenge to stay ahead of the other claimants in air rifle, especially world No.1 Elavenil Valarivan, and confirm their ticket to Tokyo.

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There may have also been certain wrong projections, as the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has two distinctly different selection policies for choosing the national team for regular international competitions, and the Olympic team.

From that perspective, most of the 15 Olympic quota winners will be clear about their status.

Even though many shooting superpowers are missing from the line up, there will be no dearth of exciting performances for ten days.

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