Indian shooters back in action as NRAI’s Olympic trials get underway

While sports everywhere have ground to a halt, this week saw the Indian marksmen and women return to the range.

By Sandeep Banerjee ·

Sports may have ground to a halt in India and around the world but the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) went ahead with the Olympic team selection trials on Monday.

Indian shooting aces like Manu Bhaker, Apurvi Chandela, and Chinki Yadav were present at the Karni Singh Shooting Range in Tughlakabad to participate in the trials for events across the pistol and rifle categories.

There were two trials for the Shotgun shooters and one each for Rifle and Pistol shooters.

Rifle shots and shotgun blasts

Among the 10m Air Rifle shooters, Shreya Agarwal edged Deepak Kumar by 0.1 point to put up a score of 631.2, the highest score among the ten men and women in the category.

In women’s 25m Sports Pistol category, it was Rahi Sarnobat on top after the smoke settled, with a score of 583, ahead of Chinki Yadav (579) and Manu Bhaker (578).

Monday kick-off

In trap, it was a joint lead of 71 between Kynan Chenai and Prithviraj Tondaiman among the men, ahead of Manavaditya Singh Rathore (70).

Shreyasi Singh led the women with 69 points, beating Kirti Gupta by five points while Seema Tomar was third (63).

Shreyasi Singh led in women’s trap on Monday.

Angad Vir Singh Bajwa scored 74 in the men's skeet, beating Gurjoat Singh by a point while Mairaj Ahmad Khan managed 71. Both Bajwa and Khan have won quota places in the 2020 Olympics.

Topsy-turvy Tuesday

Tuesday saw the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol qualifiers get underway for the men. With 586 points, Arpit Geol narrowly beat Vijayveer Sidhu by a single point, while Anish was third (583).

The trap shooters were back in action, and Tuesday’s scores saw Prithviraj Tondaiman’s new total (120) take him past Kynan Chenai (118) by two points.

Among the women, it was Shreyasi Singh (112) still ahead of Kirti Gupta (111), while Rajeswari moved up to third now.

Men’s skeet saw Angad Vir Singh Bajwa remain on top, now with 121 points, with Gurjoat Singh and Arminder Cheema now joined second with 116 points with Mairaj Ahmad Khan in fourth with 115 points.

What’s next at the NRAI Olympic trials?

Day three on Wednesday will see the men's and women's 3 positions and men's/women's Air Pistol Trials. The T2 trials in Shotgun events will conclude the programme on March 19 and 20 respectively.

NRAI decision

India had pulled out of the Nicosia Shotgun World Cup earlier this month and the New Delhi combined World Cup was postponed due to the global COVID-19 outbreak.

As a result, it was decided to conduct the trials for those selected in the Indian teams for those two events, so as to allow them to post their final remaining scores before the announcement of the Olympic team.