February 28, 2015 12:56:25 am
The road to Rio begins in Acapulco, Mexico, for the Indian shooters with the shotgun contingent hoping to earn quota places at the World Cup starting Saturday.
India will be represented by a 14-member team at the first qualification event of the year, which will conclude on March 10. Former Asian Games champion Ronjan Sodhi, who won the National Games double trap gold recently in Kerala, is not part of the team, as he was behind Ankur Mittal, Mohd. Asab and Sangram Dahiya, who had better scores than him when the team was selected last month.
The World Cups will offer Olympic quota places and after the four tournaments each for rifle, pistol and shotgun, the Indian shooters will have the last chance to earn quota for the Rio Games at the Asian Championships to be held in Kuwait City from November 1 to 12.
The NRAI released a stringent selection criteria for the Rio Olympics on Friday, insisting that ‘every quota earned by the shooter belonged to the NRAI and not the individual who has obtained it.’ The national governing body will name the Rio-bound squad in November after all the qualification tournaments are over. The World Championship last year offered the first set of Olympic quota places. Jitu Rai won the only quota for the country by securing a silver medal in men’s 50-metre free pistol.
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According to the selection criteria, the performances of shooters at the four World Cups, Asian Airgun Championship, Asian Shooting Championship, World Cup Finals and National Championships will be taken into account. NRAI president Raninder Singh said they will fine-tune the criteria furthermore before making it official.
“Our technical committee will meet on March 12 to finalize the criteria. We want to give opportunities to shooters who will compete domestically as well,” Singh said.
Teams for shotgun World Cup: Men: Trap: Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Zoravar Singh, Sandhu, Prithviraj Tondaiman.
Double trap: Ankur Mittal, Mohd. Asab, Sangram Dahiya. Skeet: Mairaj Ahmad Khan, Parampal Singh Guron, Angadvir Singh Bajwa. Women: Trap: Shagun Chowdhary, Shreyasi Singh. Skeet: Arti Singh, Saniya Sheikh.
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