Pistol, Rifle teams Chosen for Paris Olympics – Manu Bhaker in three events

Manu Bhaker, Sarabjot Singh, Moraad Ali Khan (Image: NRAI/Moraad Ali Khan)

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), after racking brains over long hours on Monday evening, decided the pistol and rifle teams for the Paris Olympics in July-August. After a lot of conversation and poring over the trial scores and current form, a decision was made to go strictly by the best scores the shooters registered in the selection trials held in New Delhi and Bhopal.

As of now, what is certain is that Manu Bhaker will shoot three events – air pistol, sports pistol and the mixed event. The pairings for the mixed event have also been done.

One shooter whose inclusion was being pressed for by some sections was Rudrankksh Patil in air rifle, as he had won a quota place for India. “Two important things to be noted, shooters who are right on top, there was no chance of changing the names,” Moraad Ali Khan, Arjuna Awardee and part of the selection committee, told RevSportz in an exclusive chat on Tuesday. “There is a selection policy and we went by it.”

Moraad, a former trap and double-trap shooter, said that the selection was done on merit. “We had to look at best combinations as well, in pistol and rifle,” he added.

According to him, there was no question of one quota being swapped at present. “With Manu making it to three events, her quota will be returned,” said Moraad. “This shows the depth in Indian shooting over the last few years.” There was a buzz that Manu’s quota could be swapped for the women’s trap, and Shreyasi Singh could get in. “That is not happening,” said Moraad.

“The selection committee met and deliberated at length,” said Kalikesh Singh Deo, NRAI senior vice president. “We feel we have selected the best team on current form, as per merit and sticking to the policy. We are confident that everything has been put in place for the team to deliver. Given our depth in rifle and pistol, some very good shooters are not part of the squad. However, they will have a chance to make a comeback. We wish the squad all the very best.”

The teams for shotgun will be named later, as there is one more World Cup competition to go.

Indian shooting contingent for Paris 2024