It seems like India’s shooters can do no wrong at the 14th Asian Championships in Doha, Qatar as 18-year-old Aishwarya Singh Tomar bagged the nation’s 13th Olympic berth.
In the men’s three-position Air Rifle category, Tomar performed brilliantly in qualification and continued that form in a closely contested final to finish in third place and seal a quota place for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The youngster becomes the second Indian to win a quota for his category, following Sanjeev Rajput’s triumph at the ISSF Rio World Cup earlier this year.
The 18-year old started the day with scores of 96, 99, 95 in kneeling, prone and standing shooting respectively. He continued that consistent showing, particularly in prone shooting where he had two perfect scores. Tomar was also solid in the kneeling position, nabbing a perfect 100 in the final round to end with a score of 392 after four rounds. The youngster finished qualification in third position with a cumulative score of 1173 to advance to the final.
India’s other three-position Air Rifle shooters Chain Singh and Parul Kumar finished in 17th and 20th place respectively, and could not make it past qualification.
It was a closely contested final in Doha, specially in the latter stages, with India’s Tomar, South Korea’s Kim Jonghyun and China’s Zhonghao Zhao competing amongst themselves for the podium order. Tomar ultimately had to settle for bronze with a score of 449.1, while the Korean nabbed top spot on the podium with a lead of just 0.8.
Alongside a bronze, Tomar also pocketed an Olympic quota place, becoming the 13th Indian to do so for shooting. Tomar’s victory means that India’s shooters have bettered their track record from the 2016 Rio Olympics, where 12 marksmen from the nation made the cut.
Gold for Bhaker-Verma
There was further joy for the Indian contingent as the 10m Air Pistol mixed team of Manu Bhaker and Abhisek Verma clinched yet another gold medal. The nation’s other Air Pistol mixed team of Saurabh Chaudhary and Yashaswini Deswal nabbed the silver medal to cap off another glorious day for Indian shooting.