Arjun Babuta and Tilottama Sen won a silver medal apiece in men’s and women’s 10m individal air rifle respectively at the ongoing 2023 Asian Shooting Championship in Changwon on Friday.
The duo also secured a 2024 Paris Olympics quota place each for India. With this India now has ten spots booked for shooting at the quadrennial event next year.
“I don’t remember the last time I was this happy,” said Babuta after his final.
“It has been a calculated, planned team effort with all the coaches, psychologists and everyone from Pierre, Thomas and Suma [Shirur] ma’am all getting together. We visualised this and now the effort will be on getting better- a lot of things still need to be improved,” he added.
Babuta had earlier topped the qualification round with an impressive score of 633.4. Divyansh Singh Panwar, the other Indian to reach the final, missed a place on the podium after finishing fourth.
The 15-year-old Sen, on the other hand, had qualified for the women’s 10m air rifle final in the fourth place.
“I had lots of issues in qualification today and to overcome that come up with this result,” she said. “Yes, I would say I am satisfied.
The 2022 Asian Games bronze medallist Ramita Jindal finished at the third place in Changwon. With just one quota per country in a competition granted, Jindal missed out on to a quota place for Paris.
Babuta and Sen’s performance rounds up India’s quota places in 10m air rifle events for Paris. Earlier, Rudrankksh Patil and Mehuli Ghosh had secured quotas in the men’s and women’s event respectively.
Earlier in the day, the men’s 10m air rifle team comprising of Babuta, Panwar, and Hriday Hazarika shot gold with a total qualification score of 1892.4, an impressive 4.1 points ahead of China.
The women’s team of Sen, Jindal, and Shriyanka Sadangi also bagged a bronze in the 10m air rifle team event.
Elsewhere, Manu Bhaker led the women’s 25m pistol field with a score of 297 out of 300 after the first precision stage.
Golden day at shogtun ranges
India enacted a sweep of the gold medals at the shotgun ranges in Changwon, winning both the junior and senior mixed team events.
Anant Jeet Singh Naruka and Darshna Rathore made the gold medal match with a total of 139, winning a 10-shot shoot-off. They then defeated Kuwait’s Abdullah Alrashidhi and Eman Al Shamaa 40-37 in the title round for a famous win.
Angad Bajwa and Parinaaz Dhaliwal were ninth overall.
Harmehar Lally and Raiza Dhillon also struck gold in the junior mixed team skeet with a combined effort of 131 in qualification which enabled them to top a seven-team field. Then then took out China 39-29 in the final.
Rituraj Bundela and Sanjana Sood finished fourth.