National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has recommended pistol shooter Heena Sidhu and trap shooter Ankur Mittal to be considered for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. The national shooting body has further recommended Anjum Moudgil (rifle), Shahzar Rizvi (pistol) and Om Prakash Mitharwal (pistol) for the Arjuna Awards.
Heena, first Indian pistol shooter to reach World No. 1 as per International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rankings, is a multiple gold medallist at the World Cup, Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth and Asian Championships. She also held the world record in 10 metre air pistol event with a final score of 203.8.
Mittal has been á consistent shooter for India in the shotgun category, having won a silver medal and gold medals at the World Cups in 2017.
The double trap exponent continued his impressive showing in 2018, bagging gold medals at the Asian Championships and Commonwealth Championships. He then went on to claim the silver medal at the ISSF World Shotgun Championship and became the world No 1 in double trap.
Moudgil was the first Indian to secure a quota place for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when she won the women’s Air Rifle silver at the World Championship last September.
Rizvi who has lost his place in the national squad despite winning World Cup gold and silver medals – with a world record to boot – in 2018, fought his way back in for the World Cups in Beijing and Munich.
The 23-year-old Mitharwal was a smashing success in the last World Championship, winning the men’s 50m gold medal in Changwon, Korea.
(With PTI inputs)