Skeet shooters Bajwa, Khan to skip World Cup (Lead)

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Osijek, June 23 (IANS) Olympic bound skeet shooters Angadvir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan will skip the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup starting here on Thursday, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) said on Wednesday.

“India will not compete in the shotgun event as two skeet shooters Angadvir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan are training in Italy and have opted out of the World Cup on the advice of their respective coaches,” the NRAI said in a statement.

On the opening day, four finals, including 10 meters air rifle and pistol events, are scheduled to be held.

India’s Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary will be in action in the men’s 10m air pistol event.

In the men’s 10m air rifle, Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar will be one s to watch out for. Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar will be the third Indian shooter in this event.

Elavenil Valarivan, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil will compete in the women’s 10m air rifle event.

Rahi Sarnobat, Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Deswal will feature in the women’s 10m air pistol event.

More than 500 shooters from 47 countries, including Russia, Germany, France, Italy and host Croatia, will be looking to fine-tune their skills before heading for next month’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

Olympic and world champion Anna Korakakki of Greece in the women’s 10m air pistol and reigning Olympic champion Christian Reitz of Germany in the men’s 25m rapid-fire pistol event are some of the top shooters who will be in action.

A 13-member Indian shooting squad, which is on a short training-cum-competition stint in Europe to prepare for the Olympics, had last month competed at the European Shooting Championships held in Osijek in minimum qualification score category.

India’s high performance rifle coach Deepali Deshpande had expressed her satisfaction over the team’s performance in Osijek.

“Overall, it was a good performance considering the shooters had a break after the New Delhi World Cup in March,” Deepali had said.

Deepak Kumar, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Sanjeev Rajput, Aishwary Pratap Tomar, Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil, Elavenil Valavi and Tejaswini Sawant have qualified for the Olympics in rifle shooting events.

And Abhishek Verma, Saurabh Chaudhary, Manu Bhaker, Rahi Sarnobat and Yashaswini Singh will compete in pistol events at the Olympics.

Angadvir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan have qualified in the men’s skeet event.

The World Cup will be the last chance for the Indians sharpen their skills for the July 23-August 8 Olympics.

–IANS
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