Doha: India bagged an unprecedented 15 Olympic quotas in shooting after Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan's 1-2 finish in skeet and teenager Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar's bronze at the Asian Championship here on Sunday.
There was a shoot-off for the men's skeet gold medal and Bajwa prevailed 6-5 against his compatriot after both were tied on 56 at the Lusail Shooting Complex.
This is India's best-ever Olympic quota haul, easily surpassing the 12 at the 2016 Rio Games and 11 in London in 2012.
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Speaking after his final, Mairaj said, "It was not easy, particularly in the qualifying shoot-off but I was very confident and had prepared well for this competition. So had Angad and I was very confident of him as well. Before the competition I had told everyone that both Angad and me would win quotas and I am happy that it came true."
Earlier in the day, 18-year-old Tomar secured the country's 13th quota with a bronze in men's 50m rifle 3 positions. Continuing India's impressive performance at the prestigious championship, the duo of Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma got the better of compatriots Saurabh Chaudhary and Yashaswini Singh Deswal 16-10 to win the gold medal in the 10m air pistol mixed team event.
Bhaker and Verma shot 577 and 387 in the two qualifications, while Chaudhary and Deswal managed 576 and 387.
Before India's exploits in the mixed event, Tomar shot 449.1 in the eight-man final to finish third on the podium, behind gold medallist Kim Jonghyun (459.9) of Korea and Chinese Zhonghao Zhao (459.1), at the Lusail Shooting Complex. He had sailed through to the finals of the event with a 1168 score in the 120-shot qualifying. There were three quotas on offer in the event.
India had 11 shooters at the 2012 London Olympics and 12 in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
"15 quotas and a very special 1st & 2nd in Skeet. Angad and Mairaj - Bravo boys super proud of you two. Way to go team India you exceeded my estimate by an additional quota!" National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh tweeted.
In July, teenager Tomar, from Ratanpur village in Madhya Pradesh's Khargone district, had shot down the men's rifle 3 positions junior world record on his way to winning gold, helping the country top the medals tally in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany.