Chinki Yadav sealed India’s 11th Tokyo 2020 Olympics quota place in shooting by reaching the women’s 25m pistol final at the ongoing Asian Shooting Championship in Doha on Friday. This is India’s second quota spot in the discipline after Rahi Sarnobat won the first at the World Cup in Munich earlier in the year.
In the qualification, Yadav shot a superb 588 (21x) to finish second on the table behind Thailand’s Naphaswan Yangpaiboon. It was her career best. She was eligible for one of the four available Tokyo berths by reaching the final. The 21-year-old will now look to win a medal as well.
The national championship silver and junior world championship bronze-medallist, however, could not replicate her qualification form in the final, finishing with a score of 116.
Daughter of an electrician in the Madhya Pradesh government’s sports department in Bhopal, Yadav was delighted with her best-ever performance at the Lusail Shooting Range.
“I cannot explain how happy I am. This has been my best ever performance. I would like to credit my coaches, especially Jaspal sir for this as well as all those who have supported me including everyone in the Bhopal academy and the NRAI,” Yadav is quoted as saying by PTI after the event.
The 21-year-old shot a perfect 100 to finish second in the qualification stage. And that was enough for her to book an Olympic quota place for the country as four of the eight finalists had already secured their quotas in earlier competitions. There were four quotas on offer in the ongoing prestigious tournament.
It’s the country’s second quota spot in 25m pistol event after Rahi Sarnobat won the first at the World Cup in Munich earlier this year. Other Indians in the fray, Annu Raj Singh (575) and Neeraj Kaur (572) finished 21st and 27th respectively.
Yadav has appeared in four ISSF World Cups in her maiden year. Her best score in the qualifications before this was 584, which she shot in the Rio World Cup earlier this year.
She thanked national coach Jaspal Rana after experiencing one of the best days of her shooting career.
Yadav has been doing active shooting since 2012 but this is her first year with the senior national team.
India have already bagged Olympic quota places in 10m air rifle (men and women), 50m rifle 3 position (men), 10m air pistol (men and women) and 25m air pistol (women).
On Thursday, she had kept alive India’s hopes of securing the second Olympic quota in women’s 25m pistol by clinging to fifth place in the first round qualification with an exceptional 292.
With China having secured the maximum of two quota spots in the event and the two Korean shooters in the final also having booked their Tokyo ticket, the field was open for any finalist with no quota to win it.
In the Minimum Qualification Score category, Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker – who have both sealed their Tokyo quota spots – scored a solid 589 and 584 respectively.
(With PTI inputs)
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