Swapnil Kusale secured a 2024 Paris Olympics quota spot in the men’s 50m rifle 3 Positions shooting after finishing fourth at the ISSF World Championship in Cairo on Saturday.
India have now three quota spots guaranteed for Paris Olympics with the other two spots bagged by Bhowneesh Mendiratta in trap shooting (shotgun) and Rudrankksh Patil in 10m air rifle. Patil also went on to win gold and be crowned world champion. India had earned their first quota at the Shotgun World Championship is Croatia recently, thanks to Mendiratta in men’s trap event, who also finished fourth.
Kusale qualified for the ranking match after shooting 593 points for a second-place finish in the qualifiers.
The top-eight featured Norway’s Jon-Hermann Hegg who had already securing a quota spot and two shooters from Poland. With rules restricting National Olympic Committees to just a single quota spot per shooting event, even a top-six finish for Kusale would have secured a quota spot for India should both the Poles and Hegg finished ahead of Kusale.
Kusale got off to a solid start leading the pack after the kneeling series with a score of 104.6. Despite slipping up during the prone series, Kusale was on track to finishing in the top two after shooting well in the first three series in the standing position.
However, he finished with a disappointing 8.2 final shot to slip from second to fourth with a score of 407.6 and miss out on a World Championships medal by 0.4 points. A top two finish would have taken him to the gold medal match per new format.
Medal in junior mixed air pistol event
India’s tally from the Rifle/Pistol World Championship now stands at 32 medals, including 12 gold, eight silver and 12 bronze medals and they remain firmly in second place behind China in the standings.
Sagar Dangi and Shikha Narwal pulled off a pillar to post victory in the 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team Junior after topping the 27-team qualification with a combined score of 580 out of a possible 600.
Sagar was particularly good with a score of 295 for his 30 shots. Fellow Indians Esha Singh and Samrat Rana followed them into the gold medal clash with a score of 579. Both Indian pairs fought tooth and nail in the title-decider but Sagar and Shikha eventually prevailed 17-15. Germany and China won the bronze in the event.
Meanwhile in the women’s 25m pistol event, Rhythm Sangwan shot a 292 in the Rapid Fire round for a score of 587, which gave her third spot in qualification. Manu Bhaker missed out logging 583 for a 10th place finish.
Reigning Olympic champion Anna Korakaki came up with a perfect 100 in her final Rapid Fire series to claim the eighth and final qualifying position with the same score as Manu and German Monika Karsch, who took ninth spot in the 89-strong field. Abhidnya Patil, the third Indian in the field, shot 580 to end in 19th spot.
In the first ranking match however, Rhythm missed all her five targets in the fourth series to finish third with 11 hits and the German Doreen Veenekamp and Korean Jangmi Kim made it to the medal match with 14 hits each. In the second ranking match, Bulgarian Antoaneta Kostadinova (Tokyo silver medallist) and Yan Chen of China made it through to the medal match with 16 and 13 hits respectively out of 20. Haniyeh Rostamiyan of Iran was third with 11 hits and Korakaki was fourth with 11 as well.
The Iranian claimed the Paris quota over Rhythm, given she had finished second in qualification to Rhythm’s third. Doreen and Anna already had secured their quota places earlier so the remaining three quotas went to Bulgaria, China and Korea.
The Women’s 3P Team competition saw the Indian trio of Anjum Moudgil, Sift Kaur Samra and Ashi Chouksey finish seventh with a score of 868 in qualification stage two. In stage one, they had shot a combined 1310 to finish seventh among 22-teams to make it to the top eights.
Also, in the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, India’s Vijayveer Sidhu shot 294 in the first Precision round to lie in third place with the second Rapid Fire round coming up on Sunday, followed by the finals. Vijay Kumar shot 288 to be in 28th spot while Anish was further back in 54th with a score of 281. The last four Olympic quota places of the World Championship would be distributed in this event.