Time to shift focus to Changwon World Cup for Indian shooters

The second World Cup of the season, in Changwon, Korea, gets underway on Sunday.

The Indian shooters team for Commonwealth Games.   -  PTI

For the cream of Indian shooters, fresh from the magnificent success and partial failures of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, there is no time to rejoice the medals or rue the missed medals, as they get ready for the second World Cup of the season in Changwon, Korea, from Sunday.

For the likes of Ravi Kumar, Deepak Kumar, Mehuli Ghosh, Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela, it will be a chance to give a strong start for India in the air rifle men’s and women’s events that start the
schedule on the opening day of competition. Of course, they are joined by Arjun Babuta.

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Between them, the air rifle shooters had bagged a silver and two bronze medals in the Commonwealth Games. Mehuli missed the chance to strike the gold in the shoot-off, after being on par following an unbelievable last shot of 10.9.

It may be difficult to regain the intensity, especially as there are no financial rewards to look up to, but the World Cup gains considerable significance as it will be the same venue for the World
Championship later in the season, that will offer the first set of Olympic quota places in September.

So, the youngsters like Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala who have been shooting extraordinary on the world stage, let alone the Commonwealth Games, will have a chance to gauge their prowess in a field that will feature shooters from 78 countries.

Only five of the 27 shooters who went for the Commonwealth Games will not figure in this field as India fields 38 shooters in rifle, pistol and shotgun, including the ones entered for the MQS section. Since there will be no rifle prone, free pistol and double trap events, Gagan Narang, Chain Singh, Mohd. Asab, Ankur Mittal and Varsha Varman will miss this World Cup.

It may be recalled that India had topped the medals table ahead of the US, China, France, Romania etc., in the last World Cup in Mexico, with four gold, a silver and four bronze medals.

Similarly, in the Junior World Cup in Sydney prior to the Commonwealth Games, the Indian shooters had placed second behind China with nine gold, five silver and eight bronze medals. China topped as it had three more silver medals than India.

From another angle, it will be a good rehearsal for the Indian shooters, as they would be competing in the World Championship later, immediately after the Asian Games in Jakarta.