Shooting has been India’s most successful individual Olympic sport over the years (four medals, one of them gold) and it is expected to be the case for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Games, going not just by the standards set by the country’s youngsters but also in terms of the number of qualified competitors so far.
India has so far earned 15 Tokyo 2020 spots in multiple shooting disciplines, which is now a record. This includes all four available in air pistol and air rifle, across genders. This allows India to field a mixed doubles team each in pistol and rifle in the events which are being introduced for the first time at the Olympics.
What are quota places and how does it work for shooting?
Given the limited number of qualification slots available for shooting sport at Olympic Games and at the Youth Olympic Games, the qualification system for our sport is based on Quota Places.
A Quota Place is a qualification ticket to enter the Games, awarded by the ISSF to those athletes who reach the best results during designated ISSF Olympic Qualification competitions such as ISSF World Championships, ISSF World Cups, Continental Championships or Continental Games.
Quota Places are country-related: the athlete wins a quota place, which is then owned by his/her country. Each country is free to decide how to use the Quota Places won by its athletes. Therefore, the athlete who secures a Quota Place is not automatically qualified for the Games, as the final decision is to be taken by his/her national team. As an example, the Quota Place won by Athlete X could be used by the country of appurtenance to enter Athlete Y in the Games.
Each Olympic cycle, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) assigns a certain number of Quota Places to the ISSF, which then distribute them to nations through designated qualification competitions.
Note: After the qualification period ends (May, 2020) and all member federations/NOCs receive the official List of Quota Places, the ISSF will check each individual Olympic Event World Ranking List (dated 31 May 2020) in the order of the events listed in the distribution table starting with AR60, FR3X40 etc. The highest ranked athlete not yet qualified in any event and provided that the athlete’s NOC does not have a quota place in that specific event, then the athlete will obtain one (1) quota place.
In shooting, each national federation must earn a quota place to send athletes to the next Olympic Games. Every country can win a maximum of two spots in an event with a total of 360 athletes (180 male, 180 female) competing in 15 different disciplines in Tokyo.
The qualification started at last year’s World Championship in Korea and the ongoing Asian Championship is the final chance for India to earn quota places.
Here’s a look at the Olympic quota spots won by India in shooting so far.
(This list will be updated as and when India win further spots at Asian Championship which ends on 13 November)
India's Olympic shooting quota spots
|Anjum Moudgil||Women's 10m air rifle||World Championship, Changwon||September 2018|
|Apurvi Chandela||Women's 10m air rifle||World Championship, Changwon||September 2018|
|Saurabh Chaudhary||Men’s 10m air pistol||ISSF World Cup, Delhi||February 2019|
|Divyansh Singh Panwar||Men's 10m air rifle||ISSF World Cup, Beijing||April 2019|
|Abhishek Verma||Men’s 10m air pistol||ISSF World Cup, Beijing||April 2019|
|Rahi Sarnobat||Women’s 25m pistol||ISSF World Cup, Munich||May 2019|
|Manu Bhaker||Women’s 10m air pistol||ISSF World Cup, Munich||May 2019|
|Sanjeev Rajput||Men's 50m 3-positions rifle||ISSF World Cup, Rio||August 2019|
|Yashaswini Singh Deswal||Women’s 10m air pistol||ISSF World Cup, Rio||August 2019|
|Deepak Kumar||Men's 10m air rifle||Asian Championship, Doha||November 2019|
|Chinki Yadav||Women’s 25m pistol||Asian Championship, Doha||November 2019|
|Tejaswini Sawant||Women's 50m 3-positions rifle||Asian Championship, Doha||November 2019|
|Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar||Men's 50m 3-positions rifle||Asian Championship, Doha||November 2019|
|Angad Bajwa||Men's skeet||Asian Championship, Doha||November 2019|
|Mairaj Ahmad Khan||Men's skeet||Asian Championship, Doha||November 2019|
India’s Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela won India its first Olympic quota spots for Tokyo 2020 when the former won silver and the latter finished fourth in women’s 10m air rifle at the Shooting World Championships in Changwon, South Korea in 2018.
Teen sensation Saurabh Chaudhary won India’s only Olympic spot at home when he clinched the men’s 10m air pistol gold with a world record score in his first-ever World Cup in Delhi earlier this year. He was joined by Abhishek Verma who won his first Intentional Shooting Sport World Cup gold in Beijing.
Divyansh Singh Panwar, another teenager, won a silver medal in the 10m men’s air rifle in Beijing to secure India’s first Tokyo 2020 spot in the discipline that has given India its first and only individual Olympic gold (2008, Abhinav Bindra).
Asian Games champion Rahi Sarnobat sealed her Olympic spot in style as she cruised to victory in the women’s 25m pistol at the season’s third World Cup in Munich.
Manu Bhaker then clinched India’s first women’s 10m pistol spot, finishing fourth in Munich, even though the 17-year-old missed a medal by a whisker, finishing just 0.1 point behind the bronze medal position.
Sanjeev Rajput earned India an Olympic quota place in the 50m 3-positions rifle event, winning a silver medal at the year’s fourth and final World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
At the same event, Yashaswini Singh Deswal clinched the 10m air pistol gold medal and confirmed India’s ninth quota place for Tokyo 2020 in shooting.
Deepak Kumar secured India’s 10th Tokyo Olympic quota in shooting after winning the men’s 10m air rifle bronze medal at the 14th Asian Championships in Doha. The 11th spot came at the same event when Chinki Yadav reached the final of the women’s 25m pistol in Doha and finished sixth.
The 12th quota spot was earned by former world champion Tejaswini Sawant, when she qualified for the women’s 50m 3-position rifle event’s final on Saturday at the Asian Championship in Qatar.
Then 18-year-old Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar clinched India’s 13th Olympic quota spot in the men’s 50m 3-position rifle event’s final. He also won the bronze medal with a score of 449.1 in the finals.
UPDATE: India finally earned quota places in a shotgun event as Angad Bajwa and Mairaj Khan produced a scintillating show in men’s skeet final to finish with gold and silver. The quota places count went up to 15 with that result.