Indian shooting team for Delhi World Cup picked, chance for Anish to make Olympics

All of India's top shooters, including the 15 Tokyo Olympics quota holders, are going to participate in the World Cup, scheduled to be held from March 18 to 29.

Men's 25m rapid-fire pistol shooter Anish Bhanwala is currently ranked 12th in the world but seventh in India (File Photo).   -  AP

Notwithstanding his subdued outing in the national selection trials, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anish Bhanwala was on Tuesday picked in Indian men's 25m rapid-fire team for the ISSF World Cup in the national capital, owing to his better prospects of securing an Olympic quota.

All the country's top shooters, including the 15 Tokyo Olympics quota holders, are going to participate in the mega event, scheduled to be held at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range from March 18 to 29.

The 18-year-old Anish is currently ranked 12th in the world but seventh in India. The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) could allot individual quota to the athlete who accumulates more ranking points by May 31, which is the deadline.

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Winner of multiple medals in the junior World Cups in 2018 and 2019, Anish hasn't been in his best form in recent times, failing to do well in the national selection trials for the tournament in Delhi. No Indian shooter has so far secured a Tokyo Games quota in men's 25m rapid-fire, the event in which Vijay Kumar claimed a silver at the 2012 London Olympics.

World number one Elavenil Valarivan figures in the women's 10m air rifle team alongside quota holders Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil. The New Delhi World Cup will see as many as 30 finals being held at an ISSF World Cup stage for the first time with the new team formats approved by the ISSF last year coming into play.

"All selections were based on latest National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) rankings, save Anish's selection in men's 25m rapid-fire pistol squad, given his present high world ranking of 12 gives him a better chance of securing a Tokyo 2020 quota pending a good finish," the federation said in a release.

The country's quota holders so far are Manu Bhaker, Apurvi, Anjum, Abhishek Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Sanjeev Rajput, Tejaswini Sawant, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Chinki Yadav, Yashaswini Deswal, Rahi Sarnobat, Deepak Kumar, Aishwary Tomar, Angad Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan. This is the largest shooting contingent in Indian Olympic history.