Indian shooting has been on a meteoric rise in the past couple of years, with several young marksmen from the nation excelling at the highest level.
Shooters from the country have won medals after medals in the past few years, winning titles at the ISSF World Cups, Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.
India will have a record participation of 15 shooters at the Tokyo Olympics. Let’s know more about these Indian shooters who have qualified for Tokyo Olympics.
Divyansh Singh Panwar
A rifle shooter from the state of Rajasthan, Divyansh Panwar, took up shooting in 2014 at Jagatpura Shooting Range in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Competing in the 10m air rifle event, he shot to fame through his performances at the 2018 ISSF Junior World Cup.
There has been no looking back since for the young Panwar, who is currently ranked number 2 in Tokyo 2020 Rankings, number 3 in 2021 World Rankings, and will enter Tokyo as India’s best shooter in men’s 10m air rifle.
Anjum Moudgil was the first Indian shooter to make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics by taking a silver medal at the 2018 ISSF World Championships in Changwon, South Korea, the first qualification event for the Games. With a score of 248.4 in the final of the women’s 10m Air Rifle, Anjum Moudgil claimed one of the four Olympic quota places. This is her maiden appearance at the Olympic Games.
The current top-ranked shooter in the women’s Air Rifle category, Apurvi Chandela made her mark at the 2018 ISSF World Championships. She finished at fourth place with a score of 207 in the women’s 10m Air Rifle final to pocket an Olympic berth.
Chandela’s success in South Korea meant that it was the first time that two of India’s shooters in the same category qualified for the Olympics at one competition.
21-year-old who specialises in rifle shooting, Elavenil Valarivan mainly competes in the 10m air rifle event. She rose to fame with her performances at the ISSF Junior World Cup in 2018. She has won gold in the World Cup Final in China and the World Cup in Brazil in 2019 and continues to reign in the 10m Air Rifle event.
She is currently ranked number 1 in the Tokyo 2020 Rankings and number 12 in the 2021 World Rankings.
Deepak Kumar started India’s stellar show at the Asian championships, as he claimed a bronze medal and an Olympic berth on the very first day of the competition. The veteran scored 227.8 in the final of the men’s 10m Air Rifle category and had also won a silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games. Now, he is slated to create a mark at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Even as a teenager, Manu Bhaker has quickly risen through the ranks to become the latest Indian shooting star.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia, Manu Bhaker shot a new Games record to clinch the women’s 10m Air Pistol gold.
The teenager teamed up with Saurabh Chaudhary at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi winning mixed team gold medals at all three ISSF World Cups in 2019 and at the World Cup final in China, she won both the individual and mixed team event gold.
After winning gold at the Asian Shooting Championship, she is poised to continue her winning streak in the Tokyo Olympics.
Yashaswini became the first female shooter in the 10m air pistol event to secure a gold medal at ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
The youngster continued her fine form at the Asian championships, making it to the final. Apart from her individual plaudits, Yashaswini Deswal has shown great promise in the mixed team category, winning a silver in Doha while pairing up with Saurabh Chaudhary.
Saurabh Chaudhary burst onto the scene at the 2018 Asian Games where he nabbed a gold medal in the 10m Air Pistol.
Since then, there’s been no stopping for the teenager, who secured a quota for the Olympics with a gold on home soil at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi in 2019. Saurabh Chaudhary has already won five gold medals at ISSF World Cups and also nabbed a silver at the 2019 Asian Shooting Championships in Qatar.
Rahi Sarnobat is a record-breaking 25m pistol shooter from India.
She was the first Indian pistol shooter to win an ISSF World Cup gold and the first Indian woman shooter to win gold at the Asian Games. When she won bronze at the ISSF World Cup in Fort Benning in 2011, Rahi Sarnobat also became the first Indian woman to qualify for the Olympics in the 25m pistol event.
Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar
One of India’s young shooting prodigies, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, is currently ranked number 2 in Tokyo 2020 Rankings and number 1 in the 2021 World Rankings.
In the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi in March 2021, he clinched gold with a score of 462.5 in the process, he defeated World no.1 Hungary’s Istvan Peni and Denmark’s Steffen Olsen. He continued his brilliant run in the European Championship and grabbed third place in the Minimum Qualification Score section.
Skeet Shooter Angad Bajwa is making his Olympic debut. Angad has the world record of shooting 60 out of 60 targets in the final round of a tournament. He shot for a gold medal perfectly at the 2018 Asian Shotgun Championships in Kuwait City, bagging the Olympic spots.
He won bronze at the first world cup that happened in Cairo, Egypt, in February this year. A month later, he shot gold at the New Delhi world cup.
Angad is all set to shoot off flying targets in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Mairaj Ahmad Khan
There was further joy for India’s skeet shooters at the Asian Championship in Doha, as veteran Mairaj Ahmad Khan clinched the silver medal to claim the second men’s skeet quota for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Mairaj Ahman Khan participated in Rio 2016, where he finished in the ninth position.
Tejaswini Sawant bagged India’s 12th quota in shooting for Tokyo Olympic Games by qualifying for the final of the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions event at the 14th Asian Championships in 2019.
She was the first Indian woman shooter to win a gold medal at the World Championships with a world-record equalling score in the 50 m rifle prone event.
Sanjeev Rajput is an Indian rifle shooter who competes in the 50m Rifle 3 Positions category.
Born January 5, 1981, in Jagadhri, Haryana, Sanjeev Rajput was introduced to sport shooting at 20 when he was serving in the Indian Navy.
He first tasted international success at the 2004 South Asian Games, winning three golds and a silver medal.
The reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist is set to make India proud in Olympic 2020.
Abhishek Verma is a self-described hobby shooter who came into his own in 2019, winning two ISSF World Cup gold medals and an Asian Shooting Championship bronze.
Abhishek Verma clinched India’s second quota in the men’s Air Pistol with a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing. He followed that up with another gold a few months later at the Rio World Cup. Verma won gold in the mixed team event at the Asian championships alongside Manu Bhaker and is one of India’s main prospects for Tokyo 2020.
All eyes will be trained on India’s shooting contingent, with hopes of excellent performances. This optimism is based on the consistent performances of the Indian contingent in the last few years, encompassing this Olympic cycle which started with the 2018 World Championships.
Cheer for India!