Olympics: NRAI selects shooting squad in top form, supports Sandeep over Rudrankksh

In a bid to boost India’s chances at the Paris Olympics, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) recently announced the selection of the Indian shooting team for the upcoming Games. The selection was based on current form and the results of the extensive domestic selection trials held last month, marking a shift towards a more competitive and merit-based selection process.

Here are some key takeaways from the NRAI’s squad selection:

1. Four Olympic selection trials were conducted for both rifle and pistol disciplines, with five shooters competing in each category. The trials yielded unexpected results, with three shooters who had previously won quotas at the World Championships failing to secure spots on the team.
2. Notably, 2022 world champion Rudrankksh Patil, who was the first shooter to secure a Paris berth for India in the 10m air rifle event, was omitted from the team in favor of surprise trials topper Sandeep Singh. Sandeep, a relatively inexperienced Army shooter, impressed the selection committee with his performance.
3. The selection process was rigorous, with bonus points for quota winners playing a minimal role in determining the final team. As a result, nine out of the 16 quotas in rifle and pistol events were exchanged among shooters.
4. The shotgun team for Paris is yet to be announced, pending the conclusion of the ongoing World Cup in Italy.
5. Manu Bhaker emerged as a standout performer in the trials and will compete in three events at the Paris Olympics, including both air pistol and 25m pistol events, as well as mixed team events alongside Sarabjot Singh.
6. Experienced shooters like Anjum Moudgil, Elavenil Valarivan, and Aishwary Pratap Tomar, who represented India at the Tokyo Olympics, have also secured spots in the Paris squad. They will play a crucial role in India’s medal pursuit at the Games.
7. The NRAI is exploring the possibility of reallocating a quota in women’s trap to make room for the freed up pistol quota. However, this process is contingent on approval from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Overall, the NRAI’s selection committee emphasized the importance of picking the best shooters in top form to maximize India’s chances of success in shooting events at the Paris Olympics. With a mix of seasoned veterans and rising talents, the Indian shooting team is poised to make a mark on the international stage.

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