Seasoned shooters Sanjeev Rajput and Vijay Kumar to participate in national selection trials

Seasoned shooters Sanjeev Rajput and Vijay Kumar to participate in national selection trials

no photo



Sanjeev Rajput, a seasoned rifle shooter, Vijay Kumar, an Olympic rapid-fire pistol silver medalist, and young Olympian Divyansh Panwar are among the marksmen who have been selected to compete in the crucial national selection trials (1 & 2), which will be held at the Dr. Karni Singh Ranges.

The trials for Group A shooters take on significance since the results of the two trials will be used to pick the national squads for important international competitions, such as the Asian Games, in a jam-packed pre-Olympic year.

For 2023, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has separated the shooters into two groups: Group A includes the best shooters, while Group B includes those who are qualified for open selection trials. According to the NRAI, the national squad will only be chosen from the list of shooters in Group A.

"According to NRAI's selection criteria (rifle and pistol) 2023, only Group A classified shooters will be eligible for selection to the national squad and for international competitions," said an NRAI statement.

The goal would be to at least match the 15 slots that India had reserved for the 2020 Tokyo Games. India has so far reserved three quota spaces for the 2024 Paris Olympics. A wonderful hunting field for Indian shooters, the Asian Games that were postponed will also be in the spotlight.

The silver medalist from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Vijay Kumar, declared his intention to do well in the two trials and represent his country in Paris.

Vijay participated in the World Championships in Cairo in October of this year, marking his first international tournament in more than four years. The Himachal Pradesh Police deputy superintendent is trying to join the national squad through the trials and push for Paris qualifying in 2023, despite having missed an Olympic quota spot in Cairo.

"That's (Olympic quota place) something I am targetting next year despite my busy schedule and I hope to get clearance from my department in the next couple of days for the trials," said Vijay.      

The trials "will be for Olympic events only," the NRAI noted in the statement. The trials will assist the shooters to get into a competitive mindset early in the season, according to Sultan Singh, secretary-general of the NRAI.

"It is going to be a year of continuous national and international competitions and we also host a home World Cup stage this year. These are the top shooters we have in rifle and pistol and it will be important for them to get into competition mode early in a pre-Olympic and Asian Games year.

"The trials, we hope, will serve exactly that purpose apart from throwing up the names who will take up India responsibilities on the international stage, in the beginning of the year," added Singh.

Get updates! Follow us on

Open all