Indian shooters went ahead to establish themselves at the third position in terms of medals tally at the ISSF World Championships, which was held at Changwon, South Korea. The shooters finished with 27 medals, out which 11 were gold, nine silver, and seven bronze medals.
China was leading the World Championships with 43 medals, with South Korea following them with 36 medals. Apart from that, two Indian female shooters, Anjum Moudgil, and Apurvi Chandela booked themselves a quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the women's 10m air rifle event.
Prior to this, India had managed to secure only two medals at the World Championships of 2014, held at Granada, Spain. The best performance that India had given at the World Championships before was in 2006 at Zagreb, when they came back with six medals, out of which there were four individual medals and two team medals.
Juniors have dominated the Olympic disciplines winning seven medals out of 8, with the only exception being Moudgil's silver in women's 10m rifle event. Other Indian medals came from non-Olympic disciplines.
“It is good to see the juniors doing well and emulating their seniors at the international stage. Good amount of funding and guidance is being given to them and efforts of the federation and ministry's funding have been justified at the Worlds. However, they all need proper and continuous guidance or else we will lose them too early in the system,” Gagan Narang said.
The Juniors program launched three years ago played a pivotal role, claimed President Raninder Singh of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).
“It is a result of efforts taken by the NRAI, Sports Authority of India and the sports ministry. I feel our juniors' programme has been the key for us. So many junior shooters have won medals here in Changwon, and have been doing well in the senior teams at other world events," Raninder told TOI.
While 12 were from team events, the rest of the 27 Indian medals came in the individual category. The introduction of three mixed-gender events by ISSF had increased the number of shots in women's events to match that of men's events. This change in the Indian Olympic programme was to comply with the international Olympic committee’s gender equality programme and has worked wonders for India.
“In the 10m air rifle category, women used to shoot 40 shots, now they fire 60 shots. Our shooters have
Silver medalist in the Junior 10m air rifle event in Changwon, Elavenil
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