Jitu Rai and Vijay Kumar return to national shooting squad after long break

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A file image of Vijay Kumar.

(Twitter)

Jitu Rai and Vijay Kumar return to national shooting squad after long break

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SportsCafe Desk

04/08/2022

Vijay Kumar, an Olympic silver medalist, and Jitu Rai, a World Championship silver medalist, returned to the national squad on Thursday after a long absence. Vijay returned to competitive shooting after a five-year hiatus when he competed in the national championships in November.

Since earning the Olympic medal, the 36-year-old shooter, who is now a deputy superintendent of police in his native state of Himachal Pradesh, has been plagued by a reoccurring shoulder problem.

Rai, a 34-year-old Asian Games gold medalist, competed in the Madhya Pradesh Academy's national shooting selection trials last month. Rai, a repeat World Cup gold medalist, won the 50-meter free pistol with a score of 562. Saurabh Chaudhary was one point ahead of him. Subedar Major Rai, who has been training at the Army Marksman Unit in Mhow, has set his sights on the 2024 Olympics.

Rai made history by being the first Indian pistol shooter to complete the men's 10m qualifying at the 2016 Rio Olympics, however he fell short in the eight-man final. Jitu was pulled from the Target Olympic Podium Scheme in July 2018 due to a lack of form.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) unveiled the pistol squad for 2022 on Thursday, which includes the distinguished Chaudhary, Anish, Gurpreet Singh, Harpreet Singh, Adarsh Singh, and Vijayveer Sidhu, among others.

Manu Bhaker, Esha Singh, Naamya Kapoor, Rahi Sarnobat, Shri Nivetha P, and Rhythm Sangwan are among the women's team members. The federation also named the rifle squad for the forthcoming ISSF World Cup in Baku, where the country's pistol shooters would not compete in order to focus on their pre-planned training schedule.

Anjum Moudgil, Elavenil Valarivan, Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar, Chain Singh, Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil, Deepak Kumar, Paarth Makhija, Sift Kaur Samra, and Shreya Agarwal are among the rifle team members at the Baku World Cup.

Mehuli Ghosh, a silver medalist at the World Championships, Youth Olympics, and Commonwealth Games, is in the rifle squad for the year, despite not being part of the team for the Baku World Cup. The Baku event will take place from May 27 to June 7.

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