The Indian shooting squad for the Rio Olympics was announced today with Sanjeev Rajput missing out as Manavjit Singh Sandhu made the cut. The 12 men and women shortlisted will travel to Brazil hoping to bag at least a couple of medals, and continue India’s good recent showings in the discipline.
Manavjit was rewarded for his impressive form in the selection trials, getting the nod ahead of Sanjeev Rajput. Rajput had secured the last quota for Rio at the Asian Shooting Championship held in Delhi only last month. But owing to better aggregate scores in trials, Manavjit made a claim for the last berth and the National Rifle Association of India(NRAI) decided to award the Amristsar born trap-master with a spot.
Raninder Singh, the NRAI president explained the quota swap. “This is in keeping with the letter and spirit of the published Olympic selection policy wherein the parameters of performance, merit and investment have been unanimously honoured by the selection committee of the NRAI,” he noted.
With only 12 quotas, the Indian shooting squad was more or less finalized and the final announcement was barely seen as a formality, with all eyes on who takes the last quota.
In the last summer Olympics held at London, India had 11 representatives in the same discipline and with the extra quota this time, there would be 18 starts for the Indians spread across all the shooting events.
While Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang will be the ones to lead the pack, Jitu Rai is one of the most exciting shooters in the Indian contingent. With a number of World Championship and World Cup medals under his belt, he would look to get the elusive gold at Rio.
Full Squad: Abhinav Bindra (10M Air Rifle Men), Gagan Narang (50M Rifle 3 Positions Men, 50M Rifle Prone Men, 10M Air Rifle Men), Chain Singh (50M Rifle 3 Positions Men, 50M Rifle Prone Men), Jitu Rai (50M Free Pistol Men, 10M Air Pistol Men), Gurpreet Singh (25M Rapid Fire Pistol Men, 10M Air Pistol Men), PN Prakash (50M Pistol Men), Manavjit Singh Sandhu (Trap Men), Kynan Chenai (Trap Men), Mairaj Ahmad Khan (Skeet Men), Apurvi Chandela (10M Air Rifle Women), Ayonika Paul (10M Air Rifle Women), Heena Sidhu (10M Air Pistol, 25M Pistol Women)
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