The past few months have seen an impressive build-up to India’s medal campaign at the Asian Games 2018 shooting competition. Young shooters who have been groomed over the past few years have come of age, winning at prestigious meets including the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.
With the Asian Games set to begin in Indonesia’s Jakarta and Palembang on Saturday, we take a look at some shooters who are aiming for a podium finish.
Anish Bhanwala became India’s youngest Commonwealth Games gold medalist at the Gold Coast meet in Australia earlier this year, finishing first in the 25m pistol event. The 15-year-old, who made his Commonwealth debut, created a new Games record.
He had announced his arrival on the shooting scene with two gold medals, two silvers, and a bronze at the Junior World Shooting Championship at Suhl in 2017. Bhanwala had also won a gold and a silver medal at the ISSF Junior World Cup in March this year
He will be aiming to come up with another winning performance at the Asian Games 2018 shooting event.
The 16-year-old from Hissar, Haryana, has been blazing a trail in recent months, winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 10m Air Pistol event at Gold Coast.
She had earlier won her first international gold medal at the Shooting World Cup held in Mexico in March (10m Air Pistol). She went on to win a second gold medal, in the mixed team event with Om Prakash Mitharwal.
Bhaker will be participating in three events at the Asian Games 2018 shooting competition – the 10m Air Pistol, 25m Air Pistol, and the Mixed Air Pistol.
Elavenil Valarivan had won gold medals in the 10m Air Rifle events at the ISSF Junior World Cup held in Sydney and Suhl this year. Participating in competitions since 2014, Valarivan became the national champion last year, ahead of more experienced shooters.
That the 18-year-old is being coached by Olympic medalist Gagan Narang would have helped her be mentally prepared for a big stage like the Asian Games.
Heena Sidhu won the gold medal in the 25m pistol event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Sidhu, who set a new Games record in the process, also won a silver medal in the 10 Air Pistol event. This made it a 1-2 podium finish for India; Manu Bhaker won the gold medal in this category.
Sidhu had earlier won a team gold medal and an individual silver medal in the 10m Air Pistol event at the 2010 Games.
Asian Games 2018 Shooting Squad
- 50m Rifle 3 Positions – Sanjiv Rajput, Akhil Sheoran
- 10m Air Rifle – Ravi Kumar, Deepak Kumar
- 300 m Standard Rifle 3 Positions – Harjinder Singh, Amit Kumar
- 50m Rifle 3 Positions – Anjum Moudgil, Gaayathri N
- 10m Air Rifle – Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan
- 10m Air Pistol –Abhishek Verma, Saurabh Chaudhary
- 25m Rapid Fire Pistol –Shivam Shukla, Anish Bhanwala
- 10m Air Pistol –Manu Bhaker, Heena Sidhu
- 25m Rapid Fire Pistol –Manu Bhaker, Rahi Sarnobat
- Trap –Lakshay, Manavjit Singh Sandhu
- Skeet – Sheeraz Sheikh, Angadwir Singh Bajwa
- Double Trap – Ankur Mittal, Shradul Vihaan
- Trap – Shreyasi Singh, Seema Tomar
- Skeet – Ganemat Sekhon, Rashmmi Rathore
- Double Trap – Shreyasi Singh, Varsha Varman
- 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team – Ravi Kumar, Apurvi Chandela
- 10m Air Pistol Mixed Team – Abhishek Verma, Manu Bhaker
- Trap Mixed – Lakshay, Shreyasi Singh