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Top shooters gear up for ISSF World Cup selection trials

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) : Olympic quota winner in men’s 10m air rifle Divyansh Singh Panwar, who dominated the first and second national selection trials last month, is expected to carry on the good form in the third and fouth rounds of trials that will commence on Tuesday at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges.

As many as 31 leading shooters eligible for the 10m air rifle trials went through the pre-event training on Monday. Trials will conclude on Saturday. Thereafter, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will announce final squad for the ISSF World Cups in March and April.

The qualification will be followed by an eight-member final in all the events. Since the range that hosts the final is under repair as India host World Cup in March, the third and fourth trials’ qualification and final rounds will be held at the qualification ranges.

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Besides 10m air rifle, the country’s leading shooters would also compete in men’s 10m air pistol, women’s 25m sports pistol and women’s 50m three position in Tuesday’s session.

While Panwar was steady in the first two trials, Asian Games medallist Deepak Kumar, the second Indian to win quota in air rifle wasn’t impressive in the second trial and failed to enter the eight-member final. He had won bronze in the opening trial of the season in January. It will be interesting to see if he is able to prop up his performance tomorrow. Asian Games silver medallist Sanjeev Rajput is also in fray, but his focus will be 50m three position scheduled to be held later in the week.

In the men’s 10m air pistol, Asian Games champion Saurabh Chaudhary will look for another 580 plus score out of possible 600. The Indian, who is ranked world No. 4, in his event had last month won gold in the Asian Online Shooting Championship. Abhishek Verma, who has also got Olympic quota in air pistol, was fourth in the continental online meet.

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In the women’s 50m three position, seasoned shooters Tejaswini Sawant and Anjum Moudgil, who have won Olympic quota, will be battling to stay on top of the field.

The Asian Games champion Rahi Sarnobat and Madhya Pradesh’s international shooter Chinky Yadav had finished 1-2 in the women’s 25m sports pistol in the second trials. The duo would be looking forward to maintaining their position in Tuesday’s trials. Annu Raj Singh, another seasoned shooter and Olympic hopeful Manu Bhaker are also in fray in the sports pistol.

–IANS

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