New Delhi [India], May 24 (ANI): World number one in Women's 10m air rifle Elavenil Valarivan, and world number two in Men's 10m air pistol, Saurabh Chaudhary, put up strong shows in the ongoing European Championship Shooting competition in Osijek.
Ten members of the 13-strong Indian Olympic Rifle and Pistol shooting squad got their first taste of competition during their training cum tournament tour of the European nation.
The team is participating in the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) section of the individual Olympic events only and therefore is not eligible to reach the finals and compete for a medal.
They will then take part in the final International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun stage in the same city, before heading on to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in July.
A total of five Shooters, three in Rifle and two in Pistol, shot scores on Monday which would have taken them to the finals of their respective events if they were eligible on the day.
World number one Elavenil notched up a score of 630.4 in the Women's 10M Air Rifle, which would have seen her make the finals in second place, behind world number two and New Delhi 2021 ISSF World Cup gold medallist Ziva Dvorsak, of Slovenia.
Apurvi Chandela, who will partner Elavenil in Tokyo, shot 627.8 and would have missed the eighth and final qualifying spot by a wafer-thin margin of 0.1 points. Anjum Moudgil, the third Indian in the event, shot 624.7
Sharing her thoughts on behalf of the squad, accompanying Rifle coach Deepali Deshpande said after the completion of the day, "This competition is the best possible start for our final preparations for Tokyo. Though this competition is non consequential in terms of medals, its a very good competition exposure for the team."
"Everyone looked good today. At the Delhi World Cup itself all except Apurvi looked ready technically. Today our focus was Apurvi and thankfully she is back on track. Even Deepak Kumar after COVID recovery and surgery, looks good. Some more training and they will be ready."
Saurabh Chaudhary in the Men's 10M Air Pistol was at his awesome best and would have topped the field by a distance. His score of 589 was even better than the 587 he had shot in New Delhi in March and was a huge three points above the top qualifier in Osijek, Ukraine's top gun, and three-time Olympian Oleh Omelchuk.
Saurabh's partner in crime in the 10M Air Pistol, Abhishek Verma was off-color, finishing with a sedate 579, but would have still made the final if eligible.
In the Men's 10M Air Rifle too, the two Indian Shooters who would participate in the event in Tokyo shot scores that would have qualified them for the finals in Osijek. Young Divyansh Singh Panwar, the current world number two, shot 628.1 and Deepak Kumar finished with 627.4. Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar shot 625.
In the Women's 10M Air Pistol, world numbers one and two Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Manu Bhaker shot scores of 572 and 573 respectively. They have shot much better constantly earlier, however, the pair would have missed today's final as well, given the 10thplace in the finish in regulars logged 574.
It was a high-class field however complete with Olympic Champions and medalists, and the reigning Olympic and World Champion Anna Korakaki shot the same score as Manu to finish 13thand outside the finals spots. (ANI)