Rifle Association finally announces the team for Tokyo Olympics


NEW DELHI: The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), the governing body of the Olympic sport of Shooting in the country, on Sunday announced a 15-member Indian contingent for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

The Selection Committee after a meeting on Sunday afternoon which lasted for over five hours, also announced a set of 14 reserve shooters for each of the eligible events, particularly with an eye on the raging Covid-19 pandemic, as had been suggested last month by the NRAI President, Raninder Singh. Reigning world number one in Women’s 10M Air Rifle Elavenil Valarivan, was the only athlete to have been picked in the team, who had not won, one of the 15-quotas won by the National Team. She would avail of the quota won by Anjum Moudgil in the event.

It was also decided by the National Selection Committee that the quota won by Chinki Yadav in the Women’s 25M Pistol would be swapped in favour of Anjum Moudgil, to enable her to compete in the Women’s 50M Rifle 3 Positions event as India’s second entry alongside former World Champion Tejaswini Sawant.

The quota won for the nation can only be swapped within the same gender.

Manu Bhaker, whose overall performances in the Women’s 25M Pistol had been better, the Committee felt, would take advantage of the double-start rule and compete in both the Women’s 10M Air Pistol and the 25M Pistol individual events.

Anjum would also compete in the Mixed Air Rifle Team competition alongside Deepak Kumar as India’s second team in the event. Elavenil and Divyansh would form the first pairing. Apurvi Chandela therefore competes only in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle individual competition.

Singh, in a statement, said: “The National Selection Committee’s main focus was to select the strongest squad for the Games and to ensure that the most consistent performers in each event, during the course of this entire Olympic cycle, do not miss out. I believe they have done an excellent job on both those fronts and we are confident that this selection will deliver.”