World number one in women’ 10m Air Rifle Elavenil Valarivan, and world number two in men’s 10m Air Pistol, Saurabh Chaudhary, put up strong shows in Osijek, Croatia on Monday.

Shooting in the Minimum Qualification Score section of the European Championship, the sensational Saurabh Chaudhary shot more than the tournament’s topper in the men’s 10m air pistol event.

World Cup and Asian Games gold medallist Chaudhary shot 589 to top the chart in his event’s MQS, while compatriot Abhishek Verma was fourth with 579.

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The Tokyo Olympics-bound Chaudhary was way ahead of Ukraine’s Oleh Omelchuk, who topped the main qualification event with 586.

Both Chaudhary, a Youth Olympic gold medallist and compatriot Verma, will be headed for Tokyo after their training-cum-competition stint in Croatia.

In the women’s 10m air rifle, Elavenil shot 630.4 to finish on top ahead of Iranians Armina Sadeghian (629.8) and Fatemeh Karamzadeh (628.7).

Apurvi Chandela was fourth with 627.8 while Anjum Moudgil was seventh with 624.7.

Ziva Dvorsak of Slovenia topped the main women’s 10m air rifle qualification with 630.8 and she was followed by Norway’s Jeanette Hegg Duestad (630.6) and Italian Sofia Ceccarello (630.2).

The talented Divyansh Singh Panwar (628.10) was second in the men’s 10m air rifle qualification. The other Indians – Deepak Kumar (627.4) and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (625.0) – were third and fifth, respectively, in the event.

China’s Lihao Sheng finished ahead of Divyansh, with 630.5.

Russia’s Vladimir Maslennikov topped the main qualification with 631.8, with 627.1 being the cut.

As many as eight Olympic-bound Indian shooters, including some of the country’s biggest medals hopes in Tokyo, were in action on Monday.

India’s 13-member Olympic-bound squad arrived here from Croatian capital Zagreb on Saturday, which is the team’s training base in the run-up to the Olympics.

The Indian shooters are taking part in the men’s and women’s individual Olympic events only.

Participating in the continental tournament as guest invitees, the Indians only shot in the MQS section. Then the shooters will then take part in the final International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun stage in the same city, before heading on to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in July.

Sharing her thoughts on behalf of the squad, accompanying Rifle coach Deepali Deshpande said after the completion of the day, “This competition is the best possible start for our final preparations for Tokyo. Though this competition is non consequential in terms of medals, its a very good competition exposure for the team.”

“Everyone looked good today. At the Delhi World Cup itself all except Apurvi looked ready technically. Today our focus was Apurvi and thankfully she is back on track. Even Deepak Kumar after COVID recovery and surgery, looks good. Some more training and they will be ready,” she added.

Skeet shooters Mairaj Khan and Angad Bajwa, who have also qualified for the Games, are training in Italy.

With PTI inputs