Air rifle, pistol and skeet competitions will be part of the inaugural edition of the online championship
Tokyo 2020 medal hopefuls Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary will be among the top Indian shooters set to compete in the inaugural edition of the Online Asian Shooting Championship, which will be held across the continent on January 29 and 30, as per Rajeev Bhatia, secretary of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).
He revealed that there will be three categories in the competition - skeet, air rifle and pistol. A participating nation will be allowed to field three shooters in each of the categories.
Shooters who do well at the selection trials that are currently being held at the Dr Karni Singh Range in New Delhi will represent India at the championship.
"Top three shooters in each of the event will be given chance to participate," Bhatia confirmed to Hindustan Times.
Angad Bajwa and Mairaj Khan have booked their places in men's skeet event. Whereas, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil will represent India in the women's 10m air rifle event. Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar will compete in the men's 10m air rifle.
Ace shooter Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma have earned their place in the 10m air pistol event. Whereas, Bhaker, who became the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup, will participate in women's 10m air pistol, along with Yashaswini Singh.
The virtual event will be the first official competition after several had to be cancelled in 2020 due to Coronavirus. The Indian shooters last competed in the 2019 Asian Shooting Championship.
India won 26 medals in that championship including five gold, 10 silver and 11 bronze.
Bhaker and Abhishek Verma in the mixed team event, Moudgil and Kajal Saini in 50m rifle prone team event, Udayveer Sidhu, Vijayveer Sidhu and Gurpreet Singh in 25 m standard pistol team, and Bajwa in skeet clinched the gold medal. Bhaker won two gold medals as she won the 10m air pistol event as well.
The NRAI is leaving no stone unturned to provide the shooters with competitive minutes before the Olympics. India is also set to participate in the Shotgun World Cup, which is set to be held from February 22 to March 3 at Cairo, Egypt.
India will then host an ISSF World Cup from March 18 to 29.