Tokyo Olympics quota holders Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar as well as Arjun Babuta qualified for the 10m air rifle finals respectively on the opening day of the ISSF World Cup in Delhi on Friday.
The final in both events will be held on Saturday, along with the qualification and final of the 10, air pistol – two of India’s best disciplines for medal.
In the 60-shot qualification, the 18-year-old Panwar finished sixth with a total of 629.1, while 2016 ISSF junior world cup bronze medallist Babuta grabbed the third place after firing 631.8 at the Karni Singh Shooting Range.
Moudgil, 27, qualified for the women’s 10m air rifle final by finishing an impressive second after aggregating 629.6 over six series of 60 shots. However, it was an overall tough outing for the women.
World No 1 in the event, Elavenil Valarivan, could not make the top eight and finished 12th after a score of 626.7. Apurvi Chandela, who is also a Tokyo Games quota holder, had to contend with a 26th place finish after shooting 622.8 in an unsuccessful qualifying outing.
The other Indian participant in the fray in men’s event, Deepak Kumar, could not make the cut as he ended up 12th with 626.4.
Hungarian Eszter Denes claimed the top position in the women’s event with 629.8 while Carolynn Mary Tucker of the USA was third with 629.1.
Nam Taeyun of Korea topped the men’s field with a 632.1 and given his current world rank of 18 and the fact that all other finalists are not eligible except his own teammate Choo Byounggil, who is ranked way below him, should bag the only available Tokyo Olympics quota based on world rankings. World No 2, Petar Gorsa of Croatia, did not start while Hungarian shooting legend Peter Sidi could not make the cut.
In the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) category, Nisha Kanwar and Shriyanka Shadangi shot 629.4 and 626.4 respectively. While in the men’s MQS, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar fired 632.4 and Pankaj Kumar managed 627.1.
A total of 294 athletes from 53 countries, including a 57-member Indian contingent, are competing in the first multi-nation Olympic sporting event of this scale anywhere in the world post the pandemic-forced lockdown.