Shotgun World Championship: Spotlight on Indian selection

In men’s trap there has not been much change at the top as both Kynan Chenai and Prithviraj Tondaiman have been top class in the World Cups, and were overtaken by big scores in the race to the finals.

World Champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu's berth had gone to Zoravar Singh Sandhu (in picture) in the last two World Cups.   -  PTI

World Cup silver medallist Seema Tomar and Manisha Keer are likely to be selected in the women’s trap team for the Shotgun World Championship to be staged in Lonato, Italy, by the end of June.

With Shagun Chowdhary holding on to her No.1 position following good scores in the Acapulco and Al Ain World Cups, the second and third members of the national team, Rajeshwari Kumari and Varsha Varman have not been able to retain their status on top of the merit list, as they struggled with the conditions in the World Cups.

In men’s trap there has not been much change at the top as both Kynan Chenai and Prithviraj Tondaiman have been top class in the World Cups, and were overtaken by big scores in the race to the finals. It is learnt that former World Champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu, who missed the last two World Cups, has still not recovered his health, and will
not be considered for the World Championship.

His berth had gone to Zoravar Singh Sandhu in the last two World Cups. Asian Games silver medallist Lakshay Sheoran had got the chance to at least shoot in the MQS section. It remains to be seen, whether there is any change in the third member of the team.

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Vishwa Kundu and Vivaan Kapoor, two juniors have been able to shoot above the averages of Zoravar and Lakshay. Since the World Championship will also feature junior events, the national federation may or may not push a junior into the men’s team. However, if Vishwa
Kundu gets into the men’s team, it may open a chance for shooters of calibre like Shardul Vihan and Manavaditya Singh Rathore to make the junior team.

In men’s skeet, Anantjeet Singh Naruka has done well to bolster his average to the top of the table following good scores in the last two trials. He is marginally ahead of Olympian Maiiraj Ahmad Khan and the reigning Asian and national champion Angad Vir Singh Bajwa. Sheeraz Sheikh finds himself in the fourth place. Angad had skipped the last
World Cup owing to ill health.

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A brand new team could be fielded in women’s skeet. Areeba Khan, Kartiki Singh Shaktawat and former national champion Saniya Sheikh figure in the top-three of women’s skeet, ahead of Parinaaz Dhaliwal, Ganemat Sekhon, national champion Maheshwari Chauhan. Former national champion Rashmmi Rathore has slipped to the tenth spot.

Areeba Khan, Kartiki Singh Shaktawat and Parinaaz Dhaliwal are in the top three among the juniors.

It remains to be seen how the selectors make their choice, and announce the team which is expected to be done on Saturday.

It may be noted that unlike rifle and pistol shooters, who have already collected seven Olympic quota places for Tokyo 2020, the shotgun shooters are yet to win the first berth for the Olympics.

The shotgun World Championship does not offer any Olympic quota places, and the last World Cup in Finland and the Asian Championship in Doha will be the only chances ahead to win Olympic quota places.