Manu Bhaker clinched a gold medal in the 10m Air Pistol event of Asian Shooting Championships. Bhaker, who had already sealed the Olympic quota, finished ahead of Asian gold medallist Wang Qian of China – who came second – and her compatriot and world champion Jiang Ranxin. Yashaswini Deswal, who was the other Indian women in the fray, finished fifth in the 10m Air Rifle Shooting event. Like Bhaker, Deswal had also sealed her participation in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Meanwhile, India has already secured nine Tokyo quotas in rifle and pistol and lies behind China (25 quotas) and Korea (12) in the Asian region, besides the host-country Japan (12 allotted slots), in terms of quotas won.
"The team is raring to go and confident of a good show. While quotas are high on priority, we should not forget that a good show at the region's top competition is by itself no mean feat. The aim is definitely to surpass the number of quotas won at the last Olympics (13) and the more the merrier," summed up Samaresh Jung, High-Performance Coach (Pistol) of the national team.
Youngster Yash Vardhan is the man in form having sizzled in domestic competitions and in the trials in the run-up to the championship. However, Deepak Kumar is the most experienced of the three Indians on show and might just be the one to watch out for, especially considering his record of making big event finals. The formidable Chinese shooters are also out of quota contention.
The Indians who have already secured Tokyo Games berths and therefore are not eligible to win quotas any more are: Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil (Women's 10m Air Rifle), Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma (Men's 10m Air Pistol), Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Singh Deswal (Women's 10m Air Pistol), Rahi Sarnobat (Women's 25m Pistol), Sanjeev Rajput (Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions) and Divyansh Singh Panwar (Men's 10m Air Rifle). A maximum of two Olympic berths can be won per event and therefore India will not be eligible for quotas in those events where they have already secured two quotas. (With PTI Inputs).