Shooting: India

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Expenses in the sport: Shooting; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, August 19, 2016

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.



50m rifle 3Position

Qualifying record

1,185: Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, 2021 (equals the qualifying junior world record)

1,180: Sanjeev Rajput, 2019 (the seniors national record at the time)

Finals record

463.4: Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, 2021 (he thus set the Finals junior world record in 2021) 462: : Sanjeev Rajput (the seniors national record at the time)

India's international standing


Biju BabuCyriac, The Times of India Jul 22 2016, Who will emulate Bindra at Rio's ranges?

Right from the time Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore shot silver in double trap 12 years back [2004] in Athens, Indian shooters have consistently delivered on the biggest stage. Abhinav Bindra reached the zenith in Beijing [in 2008] and the contingent returned from London [2012] with another impressive haul through Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang. Such is the talent pool that it is now difficult to get into the Indian team even if you bag a quota place for the country .

Their impressive history meant shooters were among those who have got the maximum support under the government's Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme. Even after the exit of rifle coach Stanislav Lapidus, the shooters were provided all support to travel to off-shore destinations to continue their training with Stass.

In 2016 (before the Olympics)

Jitu World No. 3

Apurvi The Commonwealth Games champion.

Bindra:. The dasher from Chandigarh battled the agony after crashing out in Athens and bettered the Chinese in Beijing to become one in a billion. Four years later he missed out again as Vijay Kumar led the charge with his silver medal.

Gagan Narang London bronze medallist

Manavjit Singh Sandhu: Trap shooter former world champion. Olympics is the only medal missing from his glittering collection.

Famous shooters

Abhinav bindra

The Times of India, Dec 31 2014

Abhinav Bindra has been saying he's a hobby shooter from now on. But on current form, the Olympic gold-medallist is India's best bet for a medal in 2016 Rio Games after clinching an elusive CWG gold and a bronze in Incheon.

Jitu Rai

The Times of India, Dec 31 2014

Jitu Rai is fast becoming the Sachin Tendulkar of Indian shooting. With seven medals in 2014, the marksman's winning streak is remarkable. The shooter bagged three World Cup medals in nine days in June -the 10m air pistol silver in Munich and a silver (50m free pistol) and gold (10m air pistol) in Maribor. He followed it up with the 50m free pistol gold in CWG Glasgow and the Asian Games.


NRAI “protects” shooters from “exploitation”

Sabi Hussain, Nov 23, 2019: The Times of India

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has decided to enter a domain the athletes have always been sensitive about – their sponsorship and endorsement deals. The federation wants its Tokyo Olympics-bound shooters to put on hold their existing contracts with private sponsors till the Games in July-August 2020, and also refrain from signing any new deals till the Olympics. A refusal to do so would mean missing the flight to Tokyo.

A national federation bringing in a policy to dictate a shooter’s sponsorship commitments is unheard of, but the NRAI has made up its mind. It wants to “protect” the Olympics-bound shooters from “exploitation” at the hands of money-minded corporates and greedy agents. The idea, as explained by NRAI president Raninder Singh, is to help shooters avoid getting distracted by the lure of money and also to protect the interests of shooters as young as 16-17.

“Look, we lost three Olympic medals in the past because of this kind of exploitation. The shooters and their families will have to sign a bond till the Tokyo Games to follow the Olympic spirit. They can very well sign the deals, but I want to make sure that they don’t sell themselves for small amounts. What I am trying to say is, ‘come to NRAI, tell us about the proposal, we will evaluate it for you and if find it okay, we will give the permission and then sign it with the sponsor’. There is a need to protect our athletes because he/she is no longer an individual now, but someone who is representing the country. Some of them are just 15, 16 or 17 years old and don’t know what is good or bad for them. The government has spent Rs 30 crore on shooting for Tokyo. Everything is on the line. I have to answer them,” Raninder told a select group of reporters here on Friday.

“If they still go ahead with the deal and cross the line, it could very well mean they are out of the Tokyo race. These shooters are like my kids. I’ll give you an example of a particular shooter who has signed a contract with a social media website for Rs 2.5 lakh per month. He is No. 1 in the world in his category. Imagine 15-16-year-old kids getting paid Rs 50-60 lakh per year. That boy comes from a humble background and his parents are just running after the money. It is the NRAI’s job to assist them. These sponsorship commitments are hampering their performances. They are spending most of their time on these endorsements when the focus should solely be on the Tokyo Games. This is where the bond will say that you will not force your child to do something which is not in his or her interest,” Raninder added. The NRAI’s sponsorship-controlling policy will be applicable to the 15 Olympics-bound shooters and the next 15 immediate reserves in the same event category, taking the total count to 30 shooters.

But what about those who already have a sponsorship deal or have entered into a long-term contract? “You have to unsign those deals or I’ll take them (sponsors) to the court and plug them. I’ll get a stay on contracts from the court till Tokyo. As an NSF boss, I’ll tell the court that my child is being exploited by this deal.” Raninder also said he won’t allow the Olympics-bound shooters to train abroad. Everyone will have to train in Delhi. “I want to keep a track of their performances sitting here. They will be allowed to travel for ammunition testing, change of grip or barrel of their gun. But for everything else, you have to train in India. We will not accept requests to train abroad with personal coaches.”

Raninder also had a piece of news to share. “I have spoken to 16-17 of ex Olympians of repute to mentor our shooters. It is to help them get through when facing mental meltdown. We will soon have them.”


Airgun Shooting

The Times of India, Oct 01 2015

India overall champions

Heena bags Gold as hosts top table with 17 medals in Asian air gun shooting

Hosts India ended their campaign on a high as Heena Sidhu and Shweta Singh won the women's 10m air pistol gold and silver respectively in 8th Asian Air Gun Shooting Championships at the Dr Karni Singh ranges.

It was Shweta who was ahead of Heena by 0.1 point till the 18th shot.But Shweta fumbled in the 19th shot and hit an 8.9 while Heena hit a 10.5 to surge ahead. The 8-pointer did the damage to Shweta's gold prospect and she couldn't come back in spite of shooting 10.0 compared to Heena's 9.2, lagging by 0.8 point. The bronze went to Korea's Kim Seon (175.8). Third Indian in fray, YashaswiniDeswal (155.3) finished fourth.

The team gold in the event too went to India with 1157 points, while Sri Lanka (1098) and Hong Kong (1094) took silver and bronze respectively. In the qualifications, the Indian trio of Heena, Yashashwini and Shweta shot impressive scores to march towards the final. While Heena and Yashashwini shot an identical 387, Shweta struck 383. The scores are good enough to take the shooters to the final even at a worldlevel event. The trio will now shoot at the Asian Championships in Kuwait in November, which is the last quota event for the Rio Olympics.

In the junior women category though there was a clean sweep, the fact that there were only four participants in the event, brought down the importance of the medals. Shri NivethaParamanantham clinched gold after scoring 200.7 in the final.She had shot 380 in qualifications.The silver went to Gauri Sheoran (380 and 198.0) and bronze to Shreya Gawande (378 and 179.9).

It was Iran's day in the youth women's final, as Haniyeh Rostamiyan won gold after shooting 195.6 in the final. The silver too went to Iran with LayaMohammadi was just 0.2 (195.4) points behind the topper. India's HarshadaNithave was third with 174.8 points. The team gold went to India with MalaikaGoel (374), Harshada (373) and Nayani Bhardwaj (369) taking the total to 1116. Iran bagged silver with 1104 points and Chinese Taipei got bronze 1100.

India topped with six gold, five silver and six bronze. Iran were second with 12 medals (6 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze) and Tajikistan third with five medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze).

Asian Shooting Championship

Medals won

The Times of India, November 4, 2015

Day 1

The Indian shooting squad began its campaign at the 13th Asian Shooting Championship on an impressive note as they bagged five medals. The 10-metre air rifle women's youth team won the day's only gold for India when Prachi Gadkari, Gayatri Pawaskar and Aashi Rastogi finished with a combined total of 1226.8 at the end of their qualification rounds. Prachi also won the individual bronze in the event. In the 10m air rifle junior women's competition, Mampi Das and Shriyanka Sadangi won the team silver medal . In the 50m free pistol for junior men, Sumedh Kumar won bronze.

Day two

Press Trust of India, November 4, 2015

Jitu Rai wins silver in 13th Asian Shooting Championship

Ace shooter Jitu Rai won India's first senior medal at the 13th Asian Shooting Championship, finishing second behind Korea's Park Daehun in the finals of the men's 50m pistol.

Park shot a finals world and Asian record score of 199.2 to clinch the gold medal. Jitu finished with a finals score of 189.5, in the process beating his long-time rivals Jin Jongoh of Korea and Vladimir Issachenko of Kazakhstan. Rai won India's first senior medal at the 13th Asian Shooting Championship, finishing second behind Korea's Park Daehun in the finals of the men's 50m pistol.

Jitu qualified for the finals in 7th position with a score of 555. Prakash Nanjappa finished 11th in qualifying with a score of 553, while Omkar Singh finished 24th with 545.

In the 10m air rifle junior men's event, India's Akhil Sheoran won a silver medal and Prashant won a bronze respectively. Xuechao Qian of China won the gold in the event.

Akhil and Prashant also teamed up with Pratik Borse to win the team silver in the event. In the 10m air rifle senior event for men, India's Satyendra Singh finished 5th in the finals.

N Gayathri won the day's fifth medal for India when she bagged the silver in the junior women's 50m rifle prone event with a score of 614.6. The gold went to Iran's Fatemeh Karamzadeh who finished with 617.3. Another Iranian Najmeh Khidmati won the bronze in the event. The trio of Gayathri, Srinithi Venkatesh and Sonika also won India a silver medal in the team event for the competition shooting a combined total of 1830.

The seventh medal of the day was won by the 10m air rifle men's youth team comprising Satyajeet Kandhol, Gajendra Rai and Babu Mithiliesh who bagged the team bronze.

Among the senior women, Kuheli Gangulee finished 4th in the 50m rifle prone event while Lajja Gauswami finished 9th and Elizabeth Susan Koshy finished 20th in the final standings. The trio also combined to finish 4th in the team competition of the same event.

In the women's 25m pistol, Heena Sidhu, Gauri Sheoran and Annu Raj Singh could not qualify for the finals.

Day three

The Indian shooting contingent added seven more medals to their kitty, five among them Gold, here on Day 3 of the 13th Asian Shooting Championship at Kuwait City. This takes India’s overall medal tally from the competition to 21. The summary of India’s medal-winning results on Day 3 is as follows:

10M Air Pistol Youth Men

Shainki Nagar of India won Gold with a finals score of 197. Samarjit Singh of India won the Bronze shooting 174.1 in the finals. The two combined with Mohit Gour to also win the Team Gold in the event shooting a combined total of 1690 to beat the Korean team which shot a total of 1677 while Thailand team won the Bronze shooting 1629.

10M Air Pistol Men Junior

Sumedh Kumar bagged his 3rd medal of the competition winning Bronze

He also won the Team Gold in the event combining with Hemendra Kushwaha and Achal Pratap Grewal to shoot a total score of 1706.

50M Rifle Prone Men Junior

Swapnil Kusale struck Gold in the event shooting a finals score of 185.4. The Silver was won by Qatar’s Mohammad Saad Almubarak of Qatar and the Bronze by Ce Wang of China. India also won the Team Gold in the event when Swapnil Kusale, Ishan Goel and Akhil Sheoran shot a combined total of 1839.4 to beat the teams from Korea and China who won Silver and Bronze respectively.

Day 4

Day 5

The Hindustan Times, November 6, 2015

Heena Sidhu wins gold in 13th Asian Shooting Championship

India’s Heena Sidhu made a grand return to form by winning the gold medal in the 10m air pistol women’s event at the 13th Asian Shooting Championship.

Heena, who won a gold at the righth Asian Air Gun Championship at home recently, shot an excellent 198.2 in the finals to edge out Mongolian Gundegma Otreyad, who shot 198. Jangmi Kim of Korea won the bronze with a score of 176.2. In the 10m air pistol junior women’s event, Shri Nivetha too won a gold with a score of 195.8 in the finals. She edged out Shinemurun Nyamdorj of Mongolia (195.4) and Heesun Kim of Korea (174.4), who won the silver and bronze medals respectively. Shreya Gawande, Shri Nivetha and Oshin Tawani also combined to win the team gold with a combined total of 1114. Mongoloia won the silver and Korea bagged the bronze Besides, the Indian trio of Nayani Bharadwaj (374), Harshada Nithave (374) and Malaika Goel (365) also won the a gold in the team event of the 10M air pistol uouth women’s event. In the 25m pistol men’s junior event, India’s Shivam Shukla won gold shooting a score of 576. Korea’s Jungwoo Park (575) and Jaekyoon Lee (572) claimed the silver and bronze respectively. Shivam, Arjun Das and Achal Pratap Grewal also won the silver medal in the team event. Meanwhile in the junior skeet men’s competition, Angad Bajwa secured the individual gold. The team of Angad Bajwa (121), Anant Naruka (112) and Arjun Mann (114) shot a total of 347 to walk away with the team gold also in this category.

Day 6


1. The Times of India, Nov 10 2015

2. Press Trust of India

Indian team members with the medals during the 13th Asian Shooting Championship in Kuwait City. (Image Credit: NRAI); Graphic courtesy: Press Trust of India , November 8, 2015

India Top Medal Standings on Day 6 of the 13th Asian Shooting Championship

India went ahead of China with a total of 12 gold, 8 silver and 8 bronze for a total haul of 28 medals with three more days left. China has 11 gold, 8 silver and 9 bronze medals. India on jumped to the top of the overall medal standings a the 13th Asian Shooting Championship with six more medals to their kitty on Day 6 of competitions here. India went ahead of Chi na with a total of 12 gold, 8 sil ver and 8 bronze for a tota haul of 28 medals with three more days left. China has 11 gold, 8 silver and 9 bronze medals. In men's 25m standard pistol event, Mahendra Singh won the silver shoot ing a total of 572. Korean Dae Kyu Jang won the gold with 581 points. Mahendra teamed up with Gurpreet Singh and Neeraj Kumar to win the team bronze in the event. Lajja Gauswami, Anjum Moud gil and Elizabeth Susan Koshy shot a total of 1734 to bag the team event bronze.China won gold with a score of 1749 while Korea won silver shooting a combined score of 1737.

India jumped on top of overall medal standings at 13th Asian Shooting Championship with six more medals to their kitty on Day 6 of competitions in Kuwait. India went ahead of China with a total of 12 gold, 8 silver and 8 bronze for a total haul of 28 medals with three more days left. China has 11 gold, 8 silver and 9 bronze medals.

In men's 25m standard pistol event, Mahendra Singh won the silver shooting a total of 572. Korean Dae Kyu Jang won the gold with 581 points.

Mahendra teamed up with Gurpreet Singh and Neeraj Kumar to win the team bronze in the event. The trio shot a total of 1676 points. The Korean team won the gold with a total of 1698 while China won the silver shooting 1691

In women's 50m rifle 3 positions event, Lajja Gauswami qualified for the 8-women final but ended seventh shooting 404.6 in the finals.

Gauswami, Anjum Moudgil and Elizabeth Susan Koshy shot a total of 1734 to bag the team event bronze. China won gold with a score of 1749 while Korea won silver shooting a combined score of 1737.

In men's junior air standard pistol event, Achal Pratap Grewal shot 562 to win gold. Jungwoo Park and Jaekyoon Lee of Korea shot 561 and 560 respectively to win silver and bronze.

The Indian trio of comprising Achal Pratap Grewal, Shivam Shukla and Rituraj Singh also won gold in the team event ahead of the Korea and Mongolia.

Day 7

The Hindu, Nov 10 2015

Swapnil Kusale asserted his class in the final by winning the junior men’s rifle 3-position gold, his second individual gold, in the 13th Asian shooting championship in Kuwait on Tuesday.

After qualifying in the fourth place with a modest total of 1151, Kusale dominated the final to eventually prevail over Wang Ce of China by 3.5 points for the gold.

In the process, Mohammad Hossein Karimi of Iran, who had topped qualification with 1163 was pushed to the bronze medal.

Kusale’s effort, along with Akhil Sheoran and Ishan Goel, fetched the team silver for India. He had earlier won the rifle prone, individual and team gold.

There was no matching success in the rapid fire pistol event for the Indian camp, but the squad managed to add the team bronze in the men’s section and the team silver in the junior men’s event.

Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar continued to grapple with his form, and shot 570 that placed him 12th in a field of 26 shooters.

Neeraj Kumar made the final with 577, but ended fifth.

Olympic quota winner Gurpreet Singh, shooting in the ‘’Out of Competition’’ section, a replacement for the MQS section, could also muster only 571.

Among the juniors, Shivam Shukla and Rushiraj Barot made the final, and eventually placed fourth and fifth respectively. Together with Arjun Das, the trio won the team silver, a distant second, 51 points behind Korea.

With a gold, two silver and a bronze medal for the day, the Indian team took its overall tally to 17 gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze medals on the penultimate day of the championship.

The results:

Men: 25m rapid fire pistol: 1. Li Yuehong (Chn) 34 (585); 2. Zhang Fusheng (Chn) 32 (576); 3. Kim Jun Hong (Kor) 28 (586); 5. Neeraj Kumar 11 (577); 12. Vijay Kumar 570; 17. Akshay Suhas Astaputre 565. OOC: Gurpreet Singh 571.

Team: 1. China 1740; 2. Korea 1732; 3. India 1712. Junior men: 1. Park Jungwoo (Kor) 31 (573); 2. Jang Ji Won (PRK) 23 (557); 3. Youn Jinwon (Kor) 19 (573); 4. Shivam Shukla 11 (557); 5.

Rushiraj Barot 10 (556); 9. Arjun Das 534. OOC: George Thomas 514. Team: 1. Korea 1698; 2. India 1647; 3. Thailand 1616. 50m rifle 3-position: Junior men: 1. Swapnil Kusale 453.3 (1151); 2. Wang Ce (Chn) 449.8 (1153); 3. Mohammad Hossein Karimi (Iri) 438.6 (1163); 6. Akkhil Sheoran 404.2 (1134); 13. Ishan Goel 1105. Team: 1. China 3450; 2. India 3390; 3. Korea 3383.

Final day

The Times of India, Nov 12 2015

Vijay shoots two medals to take India's final tally to 44

London Olympics Silver medallist Vijay Kumar shot two more medals on the final day of the 13th Asian Shooting Championship here to take India's final tally to 44 including 17 Gold, 14 Silver and 13 Bronze. Vijay won the Bronze in the 25M Center Fire Pistol event and also teamed up with veteran Samaresh Jung and Pemba Tamang to bag the Team Silver in the event. The penultimate day had also produced success galore for the Indian shooters as they racked up four medals. Swapnil Kusale struck gold in the 50m rifle 3 position event for junior men by shooting 453.3 in the finals. He then teamed up with Akhil Sheoran and Ishan Goel to also win the team silver with a combined score of 3390, as India finished behind China who shot a score of 3450. Korea won the bronze with a score of 3383.


Junior World Cup

India finished second with a total of nine gold, five silver and 10 bronze medals at the year's second and final Junior World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan. Russia topped the medal standings with 12 Golds for the total of 25 medals. A total of 18 countries won medals at the competition. (PTI |September 22, 2016| Indian shooters finish second in Junior World Cup)

Subhankar Pramanick and Sambhaji Patil won gold. (Tushar Dutt, Subhankar and Sambhaji shoot gold in Junior World Cup, Sep 19 2016 : The Times of India)

Kolkata's Subhankar won the top place in 50m prone rifle event, while Aurangabad's Sambhaji clinched the yellow metal in 25m standard pistol. Sambhaji's top finish also helped his teammates Gurmeet Singh and Rituraj Singh win the team gold. The 25m standard pis tol is not an Olympic sport.

India's Rushiraj Barot won 25m rapid fire gold in the ISSF Junior World Cup. (Tushar Dutt, Rushiraj shoots gold in Junior World Cup,Sep 21 2016 : The Times of India)

Rushiraj shot 25 in the final to win the top place. Rushiraj's medal helped India maintain the second spot with six gold and overall 18 medals, behind Russia's 10 gold and 21 total medals.

The Ahmedabad-born shooter won a World Cup gold; however, the field wasn't world class. There were only 10 shooters from four countries in the field. India had four shooters, while Thailand had three. Australia had two and Czech Republic one. In a way Rushiraj was lucky that the field met the minimum-participation criteria of the ISSF to be eligible for the medal. According to ISSF's rule number, “A minimum of 15 individuals in each of the men's and women's events or 10 individuals in men's and women's junior events must participate before individual medals can be awarded.”

Subhankar, Fateh Singh Dhillon and Ajay Nithish won the team silver in 50m prone rifle.

Lakshaya and Kismat Chopra and Manavaditya Singh Rathore bagged the team bronze in the Men’s Trap event.

Manavaditya, qualified for the individual Bronze medal match-up in the event, being part of two shoot-offs in the lead up, but had to be contended with fourth place eventually, coming second-best to Italy’s Matteo Marongiu.

Lakshaya and Kismat and Manavaditya bagged the team Bronze in the Men’s Trap when together they shot a total of 347 out of the possible 375 hits. Italy shot 360 to win Gold while Australia finished a point ahead of India to claim Silver.

Earlier both Manavaditya and Lakshaya were tied in fifth place, with two other shooters on a score of 118 at the end of the qualifying round of 125 shots each. Only six shooters qualify for the final rounds.

In the ensuing shoot-off Manavaditya and a Chinese shooter, Chengjiang Liu, were on target with their first two shots and qualified.

Lakshaya missed his second and the other Kazakh shooter, Nikolay Belskiy, missed his first, to be placed seventh and eighth respectively.

In the Semi-finals, Manavaditya was again tied with four others, including eventual Gold medalist, Australia’s Jack Wallace, to even have a shot at the Gold medal match.


The Times of India, Apr 26 2016

Khan wins WC skeet medal


After 12 days of disappointment in the ISSF World Cup in Rio, Mairaj Khan brought some joy to the Indians by winning a silver medal in the men's skeet competition, a first for the country. the country.

Mairaj, who became first Indian to win an Olympic quota in skeet, lost the gold to Sweden's Marcus Svensson in the final.

Mairaj, who who was shooting well found himself in trouble as he ran out of ammunition before his shoot-off for gold. He borrowed ammo from Greek shooter Nikolaos Mavrommatis, which gave the Indian a shot at gold, but at the same time took away the momentum he had got.

Mavrommatis had finished 52nd in the qualification round.

Mairaj, who qualified se cond for the semifinal after shooting 122. In the semifinal, the Indian was bang on target, shooting 15 out of 16 targets, and proceeded for the gold match with Svensson (15). In the gold-medal match, Mairaj and Marcus' scores were tied at 14 and the match went to the shoot-off (tie-breaker).

World Cup gold winners from India


Anjali Bhagwat

Gagan Narang

Sanjeev Rajput


Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

Ronjan Sodhi

Manavjit Singh Sandhu


The best players

February 8, 2018: The Times of India


Won four gold medals and a bronze at ISSF events and two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships. Paired with Heena Sidhu to win the 10m mixed team air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Delhi in February. Next, shot a world record total of 230.1 to claim gold in the men’s 50m pistol event at the same event. In the 10m pistol bronze, finished with bronze.

With Heena, claimed gold in the mixed team 10m air pistol event - forging a stirring recovery from 0-4 to 7-6 - in the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol series in Gabala, Azerbaijan. Again, with Heena, won the 10m air pistol mixed team gold at the ISSF World Cup final in Delhi in October, finishing with 483.4 points to beat France with 481.1. Won 50m and 10m bronze at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in Brisbane. Won 50m gold at the 61st National Shooting Championship with a new national record score of 233. Ended the year with a 10m air pistol bronze at the 10th Asian Championship.


Won silver and bronze medals at ISSF World Cup events and silver at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships. Claimed silver in the men’s 50m pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi. In the eight-man final, finished with 226.9 which was second to Jitu Rai’s world record 230.1. Won bronze in the men’s 50m pistol event at the ISSF World Cup final in New Delhi. Won 50m pistol silver at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in Brisbane.


Ranked No 1 in the world in the men’s double trap. Won two silver medals at ISSF events and gold at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships. Won silver in the men’s double trap at the ISSF World Cup in Delhi and gold at the ISSF World Cup (Shot Gun) in Acapulco, Mexico. In Mexico, beat the gold medallist from New Delhi, Australia’s James Willet. Won double trap gold at the 7th Asian Championship Shotgun in Astana, Kazakhstan. With Mohd Asab and Sangram Dahiya, also won Team Gold in Astana. Won silver in the men’s double trap event at the ISSF World Shotgun Championship in Moscow. Won gold in the men’s double trap at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships.


Won one gold medal and one silver medal at ISSF events. Won silver in the men’s trap event at the ISSF World Cup final in Delhi in October. Sangram topped qualifying with a score of 144/150 and then finished the 80-shot final with a score of 76, coming in second to the world record effort of 79 from China’s 2008 Olympic Bronze medallist Hu Binyuan. With Ankur Mittal and Mohd Asab, won Team Gold at the 7th Asian Championships Shotgun in Astana.


Won three gold medals and another at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships. Paired with Jitu Rai to win the 10m mixed team air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Delhi. In May, won bronze in the women’s 10 air pistol event at the Grand Prix of Liberation Plaza Shooting Championships in the Czech Republic. Heena shot 218.8 in the eight-woman final, in an event won by Rio Olympic gold and bronze medalist Anna Korakaki of Greece. With Jitu, claimed gold in the mixed team 10m air pistol event — forging a stirring recovery from 0-4 to 7-6 - in the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol series in Gabala, Azerbaijan. Again, with Jitu, won the 10m air pistol mixed team gold at the ISSF World Cup final in Delhi, finishing with 483.4 points to beat France with 481.1. Shot 240.8 in for gold in the 10m air pistol event at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships. Ended the year with a 10m air pistol bronze at the 10th Asian Championship.

Asian Championship, Wako City, Japan

17 medals by 3rd day

Jitu, Heena add two bronze to India’s kitty, December 11, 2017: The Times of India

Pistol aces Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu bagged a bronze each to continue India’s medal charge at the 10th Asian Championship 10m Rifle/Pistol in Wako City, Japan Sunday. Jitu won an individual bronze in the men’s 10m Air Pistol, which

also helped the Indian team comprising Shahzar Rizvi and Omkar Singh besides Jitu, to bag the Team gold in the event.

Heena claimed an individual bronze in the women's 10m Air Pistol. Her effort, along with teammates Shri Nivetha Paramantham and Harveen Srao, helped the Team clinch a silver.

India added another individual bronze through Anmol Jain in the junior men's 10M Air Pistol as well as the Team silver in the event, thanks to the combined exploits of Anmol, Gaurav Rana and Abhishek Arya.

Having won 11medalson thefirst two days of the competition, India's medal count stands at four gold, six silver and seven bronze for a total of 17 medalssofar. In the men’s 10m Air Pistol, itwas Shahzar Rizvi who topped qualification with a score of 583. He along with Jitu,, who shot 577 to finish fifth in qualifying, made it two Indians in the eight-man final.

The experienced Omkar Singh missed out, shooting 575 to finish 10th but enough to secure the Team gold for the troika.

Asian Shotgun championships, Astana

Tushar Dutt, Maheshwari shoots bronze in Asian meet , August 12, 2017: The Times of India

Maheshwari Chauhan tur ned the anxiety of compe ting in a senior event into excitement on Friday, clinching the bronze medal in skeet in the Asi an Shotgun cham pionships in Asta na, Kazakhstan.

Maheshwari, 21, shot 40 in the final for her first international medal in senior category . With this medal, Maheshwari became only the third Indian to win an international medal after Arti Singh Rao and Saniya Sheikh. Arti had won bronze at ISSF World Championships in 1999, gold in 2003 and bronze in 2000 in the World Cup apart from medals in various editions of Asian Clay Championships between 2000 and 2009. Saniya has an Asian Clay Championships bronze to her credit.

Maheshwari progressed to the knockouts by topping the qualification round with a score of 6875. However, it was always going to be a tough fight for the young Indian in the final as she was competing against seniors like Meng Wei of China and Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit of Thailand. Meng was one of the finalists in the Rio Olympics, while Sutiya is a multiple World Cup medal winner.

In the final, Meng stood up to her reputation (World ranking 4) with a score of 55, while Sutiya (world ranking 5) shot 54.Rashmi Rathore, another Indian in the final, finished fourth with a score of 32 after she qualified by shooting 64. “It is my first senior medal. I was both excited and nervous before the match.

“Rather, I focused on one shot at a time,“ Maheshwari, who hails from Rajasthan and has been shooting for the last five years, told TOI from Almati.

India gets 8 medals

Mairaj-Rashmmi bags gold, August 14, 2017: The Times of India

India finished their campaign at the 7th Asian Championship Shotgun on high as the pair of Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Rashmmi Rathore bagged a gold medal in the skeet mixed team event on the concluding day.

The Indian duo eked out a narrow 28-27 win over the Chinese pair of Liu Jiangchi and Gao Jianmei in the gold-medal match. The host combination of Vladislav Mukhamediyev and Olga Panarina settled the bronze.

In an event billed as test event, Mairaj and Rashmmi qualified for the semifinals in fifth place out of 10 teams when they shot a combined score of 93. They scored the same as the silver winning Chinese pair, but came second (4-3) in a shoot-off. sIn the semi-final match, the Indians prevailed over the bronze-winning Kazakhstan team 28-27.

India finished the championship with a total of eight medals. Ankur Mittal had earlier won a gold in the men's double trap and had also helped India bag the team gold in the event. Kynan Chenai won a bronze in the men's trap and also partnered Shreyasi Singh to claim the trap mixed team bronze. Maheshwari Chauhan also clinched a bronze in the women's skeet, along with a team silver in the event before the men's skeet team picked up another bronze.

Commonwealth Shooting Championships

Tushar Dutt, CW SHOOTING - Heena wins 10m pistol gold; Deepak takes rifle bronze, November 1, 2017: The Times of India

Rizvi, Pooja shoot gold in Gold Coast, Nov 02 2017: The Times of India 

Indian pistol shooters ma de a clean sweep at the 10m air pistol podium as Shahzar Rizvi clinched gold, while Omkar Singh and Jitu Rai secured silver and bronze respectively in the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in Gold Coast, Australia.

While Rizvi and Singh qualified for the final with modest scores of 581 and 576 respectively , even a low 571 was enough for Rai to qualify third. In the final, Rizvi was the strongest as he shot 240.7 to win the gold with a huge 4.7 point margin over Singh. Omkar scored 236 for silver, while Rai had to content with 214.1 for bronze.

In women's 10m air rifle event, Pooja Ghatkar rectified last week's disappointment at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi with a gold finish.Another Indian, Anjum Moudgil won silver, while Meghana Sajjanar finished fifth.

Pooja, who had finished ninth and failed to qualify for the final in the same event in Delhi, shot 415 to advance to the medal round. In the final, the shooter shot an impressive 249. 8 to clinch the yellow metal.

Heena Sidhu clinched gold in women's 10m air pistol event at the Commonwe alth Shooting Championships in Gold Coast, Australia.

Heena bagged the gold by shooting 240.8 in the final. This is Heena's second gold in 10 days.She had won the mixed event gold with Jitu Rai at the ISSF World Cup Finals in New Delhi. The Commonwealth championships is a trial event before the Commonwealth Games which will be held at the same venue next year. Heena qualified for the final after scoring 386 in the qualification round. Another Indian, Harveen Srao, who had qualified for the final after shooting 369, finished fourth in the final with 194.1.

“It is a challenging range as 50m and 10m ranges are integrated opposite each other in the same hall. There is external light and wind presence even in the final hall here, which is not usual. I had to take all the challenges in my stride without getting affected by it,“ Heena later told TOI.

Australia's Elina Galiabovitch (238.2) and Kristy Gillman (213.7) finished second and third respectively .

In men's 10m air rifle event, Deepak Kumar bagged bronze with a score of 224.2 in the final.Australians Alex Hobarg (247.6) and Jack Ros siter (245.5) clinched the gold and silver respectively.

London Games bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang, who had made a comeback to the 10m event after a long gap, shot well too but he missed out on a medal after finishing fourth.Narang qualified for the final on top with a Commonwealth record score of 626.2, but a couple of 9s in the final cost him a medal. Ravi Kumar finished fifth with 182.2.

Narang wins 50m rifle prone silver

Narang wins silver in Commonwealth Shooting Championships, November 2, 2017: The Times of India

Ace Indian shooter Gagan Narang made a stunning comeback to secure the silver medal in the 50m rifle prone event of the Commonwealth Shooting Championship.

Annu Raj Singh, who also made a comeback in the Indian team, had a good outing as she cruised her way to win the bronze medal in the women's 50m pistol competition.

The 2010 CWG gold medallist shot a total of 28 in the finals to finish third.

London Olympics bronze medallist Narang, who is appearing in his first major tournament since the 2016 Rio Olympics, shot a total of 617.6 in the qualification to end fourth. In the finals, he shot 246.3 to end just 1.4 points adrift the leader and settled for the second place.

"It was a very windy day and I had to dig deep. It was a test of my patience as I had to release my shots at the right time," the 2010 CWG Gold medal said.

Narang knows that there is a lot of work to be done ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"It was a test event for the Commonwealth Games next year and one of the things to test was the wind conditions and I did just that today. The final score still can be better and I know that I need to put in some more in that direction," he added.

India won a gold each in the men's 10m air pistol and women's 10m air rifle events, respectively, yesterday. On the first day of competition, Heena Sidhu clinched a gold medal in women's 10m air pistol event.

Nanjappa, Mittal win gold

Nanjappa, Mittal win gold, Nov 4, 2017: The Times of India

India took their gold medal count to five at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships with Prakash Nanjappa and double trap shooter Ankur Mittal clinching top honours in their respective events.

Nanjappa led an Indian cleansweep at the men's 50m pistol event with World Cup final bronze-medallist Amanpreet Singh winning silver and Jitu Rai fetching his second bronze of the competition.

Mittal added more glitter to his best ever international year with the double trap gold, while Shreyasi Singh bagged a silver in the women's double trap event to round off yet another successful day for India at the competition. India have so far won 15 medals at the ongoing championships.

Making a strong comeback in the eight-man final round, Nanjappa won the gold with a score of 222.4. It was Jitu, who topped the qualification round with a 559, while Amanpreet qualified third with 543 and Nanjappa in fourth with 542.

India win 20 medals in all

Shooters finish with big CW haul, Nov 7, 2017: The Times of India

India ended the Commonwealth Shooting Championships with a haul of 20 medals as Satyendra Singh and Sanjeev Rajput bagged gold and silver respectively in the mens 50 metre Rifle 3 Positions event on the concluding day of competitions.

The Indian squad won a total of six gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals after a week of competition. This included a gold and silver each in Shotgun events while the rest were from the Rifle and Pistol disciplines.

Chain Singh had also qualified for the eight-man final of the Rifle 3 Positions event. Satyendra qualified in second place with a total of 1162 with a best of 394 out of 400 in the Prone position. Veteran Sanjeev Rajput qualified in third place with 1158 while Chain was fourth with the same score but with lesser inner 10s.

In the final though, Satyendra was quickest off the blocks while Sanjeev chased him close throughout the length of the 45-shot final.

Satyendra eventually prevailed, finishing with 454.2 to Sanjeev's 453.3. Chain Singh was in third place in the initial stages of the final, raising hopes of an Indian clean sweep. But he was eventually overtaken by Australian Dane Sampson, after the 12th shot.Sampson held on to secure the bronze medal. In the men's trap event at the shotgun ranges, Birendeep Sodhi was the lone Indian to qualify. He shot 118 out of 125 to qualify in fifth place and eventually finished fourth.

ISSF World Cup

Jitu-Heena pair wins gold in WC, June 13, 2017: The Times of India

India's Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu combined to clinch the gold medal in mixed team 10m air pistol event of the ISSF World Cup, beating Russia 7-6 in the final.

Earlier, on day four of the competitions at the riflepistol World Cup, both Jitu and Heena narrowly missed out on making the final of the individual men's and women's 10m air pistol event, finishing 12th and 9th in their respective qualification rounds. Only the top eight make it through to the final. Although the mixed team events are not being considered for the medal tally at the World Cup stage this year, they have been approved as medal events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The win augurs well for the Indian pair as this was its second World Cup gold together, having won the event in the New Delhi stage in 2017.

ISSF Shotgun World Cup, Mittal wins WC gold, equals world record

Tushar Dutt, Mittal wins WC gold, equals world record, March 24, 2017: The Times of India

Ankur Mittal gifted himself a birthday gift in advance by winning the World Cup double trap gold with a world-record equaling score to boot. His birthday falls on March 30.

Ankur, who was born in Sonipat and lives in Delhi, clinched the gold at the ongoing ISSF Shotgun World Cup in Acapulco. Ankur shot a score of 75 in the final to equal the world record created by Australia's James Willet in the New Delhi edition of the competition. The record is fresh since International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has implemented new rules from January 1, 2017

Willet, who scored 73 in the 80-shot final, won the silver while the bronze went to China's Ying Qi, who shot 52.

“This has to be a special medal for me. It pays for the hard work that has been done in the last seven years. I am glad it came before I turn 25,“ the shooter told TOI.

Asked how much the medal means to him since it has come at a time when double trap is on its way out from the Olympics programme, he said, “The medal is still special. Also, the ISSF will have a final meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the coming months, so hope the decision is changed and double trap stays in the programme.“

But if it doesn't, Ankur will gradually move to skeet or trap. “We have Asian Games and Commonwealth Games next year. I will conti nue to shoot double trap till then and may be post the meets, I will shift either to skeet or trap. I haven't decided yet,“ he added.

This is the second World Cup medal for Ankur. His first came in February when he shot 74 in the final in New Delhi to come second behind Willet.

The Indian qualified second for the final on Wednesday , after bettering Chinese Ying in the classification shootoff. Both Ankur and Ying had scored 138150 in the qualification round. Top six shooters make it to the final, where the qualification scores are not carried forward and the final starts from zero. In the final, Ankur could have broken the world record had he not missed a bird in the last 10 shots. Nonetheless, it was sufficient for him to top the podium.

Ravi Kumar retains men’s 10m air rifle national title

Ravi Kumar retains 10m air rifle title, December 21, 2017: The Times of India

Air Force’s Ravi Kumar retained the men’s 10m air rifle gold medal in the 61st National Shooting Championship at National Games shooting range here on Wednesday.

In the final, the junior warrant officer with Air Force continued his form from the Asian shooting championship held in Wako City, Japan couple of weeks ago, where he bagged a bronze medal. He was trailing Arjun Babuta of Punjab and veteran Sanjeev Rajput of Haryana after a five-shot in the first two series.

Ravi, an Asian Games team bronze medallist with Sanjeev and Abhinav Bindra in the 2014 Incheon Asiad, bounced back in the last 2-shot five series with a score of 251.2 and a difference of 2.3 over Punjab lad Arjun, who settled for silver with a score of 248.9.

Sanjeev was pushed to bronze medal with a score of 228.0. “This is the start of the journey for 2020 Tokyo. After missing Rio Olympics with an injury, I’m careful. I will be concentrating on the selection trials next month,” said the 27-year-old.

World Cup

Biswajyoti Brahma, Indian shooting takes bold step after debacle in Rio, March 4, 2017: The Times of India

It was a successful World Cup for India by all accounts, despite finishing way behind table toppers China.

The hosts bagged five medals, including one gold, to secure the fifth position in the medals tally; China had 12 medals -six gold and six silver. But what's positive about India's performance is that 15 of the 45 shooters made it to the finals in different events to win those five medals.

The numbers are impressive since Indian shooting is in a rebuilding process following the Rio Olympic debacle leass than a year back. Many established names were replaced by relatively new ones for the event and the squad returned with one of the best medal hauls for India in a World Cup. Leading the charge was Jitu Rai, the diminutive army man, who bagged two medals, including a gold, in pistol shooting. Indians tasted success across the formats -they had 6 shooters in rifle event finals, 5 in pistol finals and four in shot gun finals. Pistol shooter won most medals -3-while rifle and shot gun shooters won one each. Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu also won the gold in 10m air pistol mixed gender team event, though the medal wasn't added to the table since it was conducted as a test event.

Pooja Ghatkar set the tone for the hosts with a bronze in women's 10m air rifle on the opening day of the competition. Mentored by Olympic medallist Gagan Narang, Pooja finished ahead of the likes of Najmeh Khedmati, the reigning Asian Games gold medallist from Iran.

Ankur Mittal sizzled in double trap, an event in which India won their first ever medal in shooting -a silver in 2004 Athens Games through Rajyavarshan Singh Rathore.Mittal finished second, just one point behind winner James Willett. Jitu Rai came back from a disappointing Olympics to the win two medals -a gold and a bronze. Amanpreet Singh's silver in 50m pistol behind Jitu made it sweeter. This was Amanpreet's first international event in over three years.

Sheeraz Sheikh's qualification for skeet signalled the slow but steady growth of the country in the event which was considered India's weak spot just two years back. There were some heartbreaks too. Zoravar Singh Sandhu was within striking distance of a medal in men's trap but a lapse in concentration saw him miss the bronze by a whisker.

National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh said he was happy with the performance of the team and expected them to do better in coming events. “I have no regrets about the performance. If I have any regrets it has to be women's 25m pistol event. We don't seem to be doing well there,“ Raninder said.

He said that India has sone well as far as performance in skeet is concerned. “We have improved in the last one and half year since we appointed Ennio Falco as coach of skeet team. But still we have a long way to go.“

Though Heena Sidhu failed to win a medal, the NRAI president felt she was going to be a key member of the squad considering that mixed gender event will be a medal event from October. “She shot very well in the mixed event final.“

Mixed bronze for Bajwa, American Dunn

Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Haley Dunn of the US won the mixed team skeet medal at the ISSF World Cup on Friday . Angad and Haley beat the pairing of Robert Johnson and Caitlin Connor 28-26 in the bronze medal match of the test event. Hayden Stewart, partnering Kimberly Rhode of the US, won the gold defeating Argentine siblings Federico and Melisa Gill 29-26 in final.

World Shotgun Championship: Ankur wins silver

Marksman Mittal makes merry with shotgun silver, Sep 6, 2017: The Times of India

Rizvi Shines in Juniors' Double Trap, Helps India Clinch Gold in Team Event

Ankur Mittal won the silver medal in the double trap event of the World Shotgun Championship at the Fox Lodge Shooting Range in Moscow. In the process, Mittal became only the fourth Indian shotgun shooter to win an individual medal at the senior level of a World Championship after Dr Karni Singh, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Manavjit Singh Sandhu.Rathore, who has taken charge as the Union sports minister, tweeted as soon as he got the news: “Congrats Ankur Mittal for the silver in double trap at @ISSF Shooting Shotgun WC! Your best is yet to come :) Splendid performance!“ This has been a phenomenal year for the 25-year-old, who went to Moscow with a kitty of two gold medals and a silver medal in top international competitions this year.He has set himself up for nicely for the ISSF World Cup Finals slated to be held in New Delhi in October. An kur, after shooting brilliantly through the day ­ topped qualifying with 145150 ­ and through the 80-shot final, narrowly lost out in the end to Russia's Vitaly Fokeev. The Russian, who was the the world champion in 2006, took the crown with 68 points to Ankur's 66. Among other Indians, Sangram Dahiya ended in 20th place with 135, while Md Asab came in 23rd with 133 hits in the qualifying round. The trio combined for the fifth spot in team category with 413 points.

In the junior men's event, India's Shardul Vihan and Ahvar Rizvi topped qualifying to get into the top six.Shardul shot 139 to be the sole leader of the pack. Ahvar shot 138 and then topped a three-way shoot-off to determine positions, to qualify for the finals in second place. India won the gold medal in the team event with Rizvi, Vihan and Shapath Bhradwaj's putting up a tally of 401.

In the individual final, Ahvar carried his shoot-off momentum and shot brilliantly to lead till the end, but lost the gold in the last two targets to Briton James Dedman.Ahvar finished with 66 out of 80 targets, a point behind Dedman.


Asian Airgun Championship

Hriday-Elavenil duo shoots gold

Angad shoots world skeet record, November 7, 2018: The Times of India

Hriday-Elavenil duo shoots gold

India’s 10m air rifle mixed junior pairing of Elavenil Valarivan and Hriday Hazarika struck gold in the 11th Asian Championship being held in Kuwait City, with a junior world record score to boot. The other Indian pair of Mehuli Ghosh and Arjun Babuta won bronze in the same event.

Saurabh shoots gold

Saurabh shoots gold in Asian championship, November 9, 2018: The Times of India

Sensation Saurabh Chaudhary continued his incredible run by claiming his fourth individual gold medal in as many months with a top finish in the 10m air pistol junior men’s event of the Asian Airgun Championship. The 16-year-old, son of a farmer based in Meerut, first combined with compatriots Arjun Singh Cheema and Anmol Jain to log a total of 1731 to win the team gold and fetched the individual gold with 239.8 in the eight-man individual final to finish with two gold medals.

The Indians dominated the qualifying stages with Arjun topping the standings with a score of 578 after 60 shots. Anmol was second with 577 while Saurabh was placed third with a score of 576 and all three made it to the final.

Manu-Saurabh break own Jr world record

November 10, 2018: The Times of India

Bhaker & Chaudhary Win Mixed Team Gold In 10m Air Pistol

Teen shooting sensations Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary shattered the junior world record on their way to winning the 10m air pistol mixed team gold medal in the 11th Asian Airgun Championships here on Friday. On the concluding day of the tournament, the Indians got the better of the Chinese pairing of Wang Xiaoyu and Hong Shuqi in the final. India’s junior shooting squad thus ended the championship with a tally of 11 medals, including four gold.

Youth Olympic Games champions Manu and Saurabh finished with a score of 485.4 in the final, well ahead of the Chinese who managed 477.9. India’s second pair in the finals, Abhidnya Patil and Anmol Jain, finished fourth. This was Saurabh’s third gold medal in two days having won the team and individual 10m air pistol events on Thursday, while Manu bagged the team silver.

Asian Games

Indian gold medals at Asiad

As in August 2018

Randhir Singh (trap),

Jaspal Rana (centre fire pistol),

Jitu Rai (50m pistol),

Ronjan Singh Sodhi (double trap),

Rahi Sarnobat

Saurabh Chaudhary (10m air pistol)

World Cup

World Cup: Rizvi wins gold with world record; Jitu Rai gets bronze

March 4, 2018: The Times of India


Rizvi shot a world record score of 242.3 points in the final to beat Christian Reitz of Germany.

Ace India shooter Jitu Rai won the bronze in the event with a score of 219 points.

Mehuli Ghosh added another medal to India's tally with a bronze in the women's 10m air rifle event.

India shooter Shahzar Rizvi made his maiden ISSF World Cup appearance a memorable one by winning the gold medal in the 10m air pistol event at Guadalajara in Mexico late on Saturday. Rizvi shot a world record score of 242.3 points in the final to beat Christian Reitz of Germany, 239.7 points, to win the top honour. Ace India shooter Jitu Rai won the bronze in the event with a score of 219 points.

Three Indian shooters made it to the final of the ISSF World Cup season opener in Mexico. The other Indian shooter Om Prakash Mitharval finished the competition at creditable fourth position with a score of 198.4 points.

Later, Mehuli Ghosh added another medal to India's tally as she shot world junior record 228.4 points to win bronze medal in the women's 10m air rifle event. And like their male counterparts, three Indian shooters made to the final of this event too.

Anjum Moudgil finished at fourth position with 208.6 points, while Apurvi Chandela was seventh in the standings with 144.1 points.

India had a fruitful opening day in the competition as they won three medals - a gold and two bronze.

In the pistol event, Rizvi, with a score of 579, was the top-scorer among the Indians and second in the top-eight qualifiers, while Rai was third with a score of 578. This is the first World Cup for both Rizvi and Mitharval, who was fourth with a score of 576.

While in the women's rifle event, Ghosh qualified for the final at second spot with 629.1 points, followed by Chandela at seventh with 626.8 points and Moudgil at eighth with 626.7 points.

World Cup: gold for Sheoran

Tushar Dutt, India finds another top gun in Akhil Sheoran, March 12, 2018: The Times of India

‘Gifted’ Rifle By Gagan Narang, UP Shooter Wins WC Gold

India’s dream run at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, continued as Akhil Sheoran, 23, clinched gold in men’s 50m rifle 3position event.

Sheoran, who had qualified fourth with a score of 1174, shot 455.6 in the final. Compatriot Sanjeev Rajput, who got off to a strong start in the final after qualifying with a national record score of 1176, fumbled in the standing series and finished fourth with a score of 430.9. Austria’s Bernhard Pickl won silver with 452, while Peni bagged bronze with 442.3.

Sheoran, who had lagged till more than half of the 45-shot final, made a splendid comeback to stun a strong field of shooters. The finalists included Rio Games bronze medallist and current World No. 1 Alexis Raynaud (France), former World Champion Sidi Peter (Hungary) and multiple World Cup gold medallist and World No. 2 Istavn Peni of Hungary along with Olympian Sanjeev Rajput.

The gold is Sheoran’s first medal in his second World Cup appearance since 2013. But more than the medal, it was Sheoran’s self-confidence that was at stake, since being on a shaky ground for past two years. The Uttar Pradesh shooter, who has been shooting since 2009 and had turned senior in 2016, had missed out on winning the Rio Olympics quota in 10m air rifle event by 0.4 point.

“Score-wise I was doing well, but I wasn’t getting satisfaction in terms of my overall shooting. I started with air rifle but used to shoot 3Position too, but then despite being in the junior and then the senior teams, nothing was clicking for me,” the Johdi-village born shooter told TOI.

“After the Rio miss, I was getting a little impatient and wanted things to fall in place. I then sat with my coach Deepali Deshpande and we decided to start from the basic all over again. I think it worked,” Sheoran said.

In the beginning of his career, Sheoran used his school’s rifle for national trials and made his way to the Indian junior team.

Though his farmer father had managed to buy an air rifle, buying a 3P rifle was an expensive affair. “I had used Deepali ma’am’s rifle for almost two years before I got my own. Actually, even getting my own rifle was not possible if Gagan bhaiya (Narang) had not bailed me out,” he said.

After managing the fund, Sheoran wanted to buy the then justlaunched Walther rifle, but it had a waiting period of six months. “The model was newly launched by the company then, so it wasn’t available for six months. Gagan bhaiya being a big shooter had got that special edition rifle from the company as a gift. Since I was struggling to get a rifle, Gagan transferred his voucher to me,” he said.

Sheoran was placed fourth till the 25th shot. In the final, shooters shoot 15 shots each of kneeling, prone and standing positions. After an average show in the 15 kneeling shots, Sheoran recovered in the last five shots of the prone series. Once he came to top just ahead of the standing series, he didn’t let the advantage slip. “Standing position is my strength, I knew I would do well in it,” he said.

India remains on top of the medals tally with four golds and overall nine medals.

World Cup: India topped medals tally for first time

March 12, 2018: The Times of India


India topped the medals tally for the first time in an ISSF competition

India shooters won four gold, one silver and four bronze for a total of nine medals

Shahzar Rizvi, Manu Bhaker, Akhil Sheoran and Om Prakash Mitharval won the gold medals

A podium eluded them on the final day but India had done enough to finish their best-ever campaign at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, at the top of the medals tally with four gold, one silver and four bronze.

Two-time Olympic champion Vincent Hancock of the USA won the men's skeet competition, the concluding event of the year's first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup.

Among the three Indian shooters in the fray, Smit Singh shot 116 in the qualifying to be placed 15th, Angad Bajwa shot 115 to end in 18th spot while Sheeraz Sheikh secured the 30th spot with a score of 112. India, however topped the medals tally for the first time in an ISSF competition with four gold, one silver and four bronze for a total of nine medals.

Hancock, who had won gold at the Beijing and London Olympics, had gone into a bit of a slump after winning the 2015 World Championships and made a comeback of sorts with this win.

He did it in style by first topping qualification with a sublime 123 out of 125 and then followed it up in the final, with a world record equalling 59 out of 60. He was matched by Paul Adams of Australia and finally got the better of him 6-5 in a shoot-off for gold. Italy's Tammaro Cassandro won bronze with 49 hits in the final.

India's Smit was placed seventh in the beginning of the day and stood a chance of qualifying but rounds of 22,23 and 23 put paid to all such hopes.

Angad Bajwa returned rounds of 24, 25 and 24 but had dropped too far behind on day one of qualifying and Sheeraz Sheikh did not look in his element in this competition. The failure on the last day notwithstanding, India will return home with happy memories.

Shahzar Rizvi, Manu Bhaker, Akhil Sheoran and Om Prakash Mitharval won the gold medals in the competition, Anjum Moudgil bagged a silver, while established names such as Jitu Rai, Ravi Kumar finished with bronze. Though he did not win a medal, Sanjeev Rajput too shot very well and missed out by a whisker.

Hopes, Plzen: 11 gold, seven silver, six bronze medals

July 16, 2018: The Times of India

Manu, Anmol claim mixed gold in air pistol

Manu Bhaker and Anmol Jain claimed the gold medal in mixed 10m air pistol team competition, ending on rousing note India’s successful campaign in the 28th Meeting of Shooting Hopes international competition in Plzen, Czech Republic on Sunday. The Indians finished the tournament with 11 gold, seven silver and six bronze medals. Bhaker had won four gold in the prestigious annual tournament, including one in the individual 10m air pistol event. Indian junior women's hockey team beats Great Britain: Indian junior women's hockey team pipped Great Britain 1-0 in its second match to continue its unbeaten run at the U-23 six-nation tournament in Antwerp on Sunday. In its first match, India had beaten Ireland 4-1. Sangita Kumari scored the winner for India. However in the junior men's tournament, India lost 1-3 to Great Britain in theur second match of the U-23 five-nation event.

Gawli joins Arrows as assistant coach: Former India captain Mahesh Gawli faded away from the field without a formal farewell but has now resurfaced as assistant coach for Indian Arrows, the developmental squad of the All India Football Federation. Without Portuguese coach Luis Norton de Matos, who returned home after picking up an injury, the experienced former India defender’s arrival is a major boost not just to the side but also coach Floyd Pinto.

WFI president to be India's Chef de Mission at Asian Games: Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Saran Singh is set to be named the Chef de Mission of the Asian Games-bound Indian contingent. The Indian Olympic Association is likely to make the announcement later this week. The four deputy Chefs de Mission set to be be appointed are BS Kushwaha (former secretary of Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Federation), RK Sacheti (executive director of Boxing Federation of India, DK Singh (Uttarakhand Olympic Association) and Colonel R K Swain (secretary of Equestrian Federation of India).

ISSF Junior World Cup

Elavenil Valarivan wins gold, sets Jr world record

Tushar Dutt, Elavenil shoots gold with Jr world record, March 23, 2018: The Times of India

Elavenil Valarivan is on a record-breaking mode. The Ahmedabad shooter on Thursday shot a mammoth 631.4 in 10m air rifle qualification to create a new Junior World record and later clinch her maiden ISSF Junior World Cup gold in Sydney.

Elavenil, 18, who trains at Gagan Narang’s academy in Pune, scored 249.8 in the final to top the podium. The silver went to Chinese Taipei’s Lin Ying-Shin (248.7), while the bronze went to China’s Zeru Wang (228.4).

The previous junior qualification record of 629.1 was created by India’s Mehuli Ghosh only two weeks ago in Mexico. Incidentally, Elavenil’s score of 631.4 didn’t just better the junior world record, but also surpassed senior women’s record. The senior record stands at 629.5 by China’s Sun Ting.

Since Elavenil was shooting in a junior world event, the record will be officially considered only in the junior category despite shooting better than the senior record.

“Junior shooters can establish junior records in senior finals, but junior shooters cannot create senior records in junior finals,” ISSF media manager told TOI. Nonetheless, the score is better than the national record across genders. In men’s 10m air rifle event, Ravi Kumar holds the national record with the score of 629.1, scored last year in the Munich World Cup.

Elavenil had won individual bronze with a new qualification record in the World University Games on Monday. She had shot 400/ 400 in the 10m air rifle qualification round. Other than the individual gold, Elavenil combined with Shreya Agarwal and Zeena Khitta to total 1876.9 for team gold.

ISSF Junior World Cup: another gold for Manu

Manu adds to her gold kitty, March 28, 2018: The Times of India

Pune: Shooter Manu Bhaker has another golden double at the world level.

The Haryana shooter, who had won 10m air pistol individual gold in the ongoing ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney on Saturday, clinched the mixed team 10m air pistol gold with Anmol on Tuesday.

Manu, 16, who had clinched gold medals in individual and mixed team events in her maiden senior ISSF World Cup appearance in Mexico earlier this month, has now won four World Cup gold medals in a span of three weeks.

On Tuesday, the Manu-Anmol pair was the first to qualify for the final after shooting a combined score of 770, a new Junior World record in the qualification. The duo continued to shoot well in the final and maintained an average lead of five points over the second-placed Chinese duo of Jinyao Liu and Xue Li.

The Indians finished with 478.9 in the final, while the Lui-Li pair shot 473.3 for silver. Another Chinese pair comprising Zhehao Wang and Jiaruixuan Xiao shot 410.7 for bronze.

Another Indian pair of Gaurav Rana and Mahima Agarwal finished fourth with a joint score of 370.2.

In the 10m air rifle mixed event, Shreya Agarwal and Arjun Babuta bagged bronze after shooting 432.8 in the final.

The gold and silver went to Chinese pairs of Yingjie Zhu-Yuqi Liu (496.2) and Changhong Zhang-Mingwei Gao (495.6) respectively.

The surprise of the day was Ganemat Sekhon’s bronze in women’s skeet event. Chandigarh’s Ganemat, who had a bad start after shooting 17/25 in her first series, stabilized to shoot 20, 21, 21 and 23 to total 102. She was tied at fifth position with China’s Yashu Sun, but Ganemat pushed the Chinese to sixth position by clearing the shootoff 1-0.

In the final, Ganemat, 18, shot 36 to finish third behind Australia’s Aislin Jones (51) and China’s Yufei Che (47).

Bhanwala siblings’ landmark golds

Tushar Dutt, Muskan fires historic smile in Jr World Cup, March 29, 2018: The Times of India

Muskan Bhanwala, 16, created history by clinching gold in the women’s 25m pistol event at ISSF Junior (U-21) World Cup in Sydney. Although it is not India’s first medal in this category, Muskan’s achievement holds a special place as it has come after her brother Anish won the yellow metal.

With this medal, Muskan and Anish have become the only siblings in the world to have won gold in the same edition of Junior World Cup.

Replying to TOI’s query, the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) media manager confirmed that the Bhanwala siblings are the first to win World Cup gold at the same edition. The ISSF informed that in 2011, Russian brothers (Alexei and Sergey Kemenskiy) won two Olympic quota places during the same ISSF World Cup in Fort Benning, in 50m rifle 3 position and 10m air rifle events respectively. But they did not win medals.

In the 2002 ISSF Junior Shotgun World Championships, twin sisters Lenka and Danka Bartekova finished first and sixth in the same junior women’s skeet final.

At the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens (the first modern Olympics), US brothers John Bryant Paine and Summer Pain won gold and silver in the same pistol event. Muskan pipped four Chinese and three Indian shooters on Wednesday, including Manu Bhaker to top the podium.

Saurabh Chaudhary: world record; Manu & Devanshi fined

Biju Babu Cyriac, (WITH INPUTS FROM TUSHAR DUTT), June 27, 2018: The Times of India

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manu Bhaker and Devanshi Rana reported late for the final of the 25m pistol women junior event at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany and in the end settled for 5th and last place.

The campaign of the two promising Indians ended in tears after the organizers pulled them up for reporting late and docked points. "All the finals were being held at the Final hall and so our shooters also reported at the Final hall. It was only then that they were told that the sport pistol final was being held at the 25m range and they had to rush back. In the process, both our shooters got delayed," team coach Jaspal Rana told TOI from Suhl.

As per the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules, shooters should report at the range 15 minutes before the start of the final. "Our shooters were one-two minutes late and their points were cut," Rana added. Asked whether the organizers were to blame, Rana said: "I should take the blame myself for not properly informing the shooters. I have only two coaches with me and we have to run around between the four ranges. It was like 12 shooters in action and we had only three coaches here. Despite the setback both Manu and Devanshi shot well. At one point Manu was even in the lead."

Rana said the lack of familiarity with the range also hampered the shooters. "Both Manu and Devanshi were the first time here and they did not have the idea that final would be at the 25m range itself. Manu was really upset and she was crying. But I hope she will come back strong in her pet event - the 10m pistol," he said. "In the final it is a hit and miss scoring. So Manu started with a four and it was cut to two. Devanshi got one after she scored three. I can't say whether she was a medal contender but obviously she could have done. First there is the pressure of the final and on top of that if you are penalized you shoot with a different mindset," Rana said.

The coach said he has already written to the NRAI to send more coaches. "There was too much in my hands today. Even if I get one more coach I can put him charge of one range. But it is very difficult for two coaches to run around to four ranges.

Teen Saurabh sets junior world record

Sixteen-year-old Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary set a new world record on the way to winning a gold medal in the ISSF Junior World Cup Saurabh shot a total of 243.7 in the 10m air pistol event in the ongoing ISSF tournament. Saurabh, who earned the eighth gold medal for India in the prestigious meet, ended the eight-man final with a score of 243.7 after 24 shots, 4.1 points clear of Korean shooter Lim Hojin (239.6), who won the silver. AGENCIES

India tops medals tally

India shooters top medals tally in Junior World Cup, June 29, 2018: The Times of India

India won eight more medals, including five gold, on the last day of the ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany.

Their successful campaign saw them finish on top of the medal standings among 61 participating countries, collecting 26 medals in all including 15 gold, two silver and nine bronze medals. India’s gold medals came in the 10m air pistol mixed team, 25m standard pistol men individual and team and 25m standard pistol women individual and team events respectively.

ISSF World Championships, Korea

Two Indians win quota places together

Tushar Dutt, Silver, Tokyo ticket for Anjum, September 4, 2018: The Times of India

Apurvi Too Books Olympic Berth

It was a day of many firsts for Indian shooting, with the biggest of them being Anjum Moudgil clinching a silver medal in women’s 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Chapionships in Changwon, Korea. Another first was Anjum, 24, and Apurvi Chandela, 25, winning quota places for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by finishing in the top four in the final. Anjum scored 248.4 in the final while Apurvi shot 207 to finish fourth. It was also their first-ever appearances in the quadrennial event.

The top-four shooters in the World Championships finals get quotas. This is the first occasion when two Indians have won quota places together. Abhinav Bindra (2006), Manavjit Singh Sandhu (2006), Gagan Narang (2010) and Jitu Rai (2014) had won quotas at the Worlds earlier. The medal and quota was special for Anjum since 10m is not her pet event. “Rifle 3 position is my pet event. But I was confident since the beginning and was able to execute my shots well. Winning a medal and a quota place is a great feeling,” Anjum told TOI.

With the quota place in, training harder will be Apurvi’s priority. “I have been shooting continuously for a while. I will first take a small break and then will begin training for the 2020 Games,” she said. The third Indian, young Mehuli Ghosh finished 48th with 622.8 in the qualification round.

In the men’s 10m air rifle, Deepak Kumar missed out on a medal as well as a quota place by finishing sixth in the final.

Ankur wins double trap gold

snaps up double trap gold, September 9, 2018: The Times of India

Ankur Mittal claimed the men’s double trap gold medal in the ISSF World Championship for his career’s biggest triumph, as the Indian shooting team continued its dominance in the premier tournament.

The multiple World Cup medallist shot 140 out of 150 to go into a shoot-off for gold with China’s Yiyang Yang

and Slovakia’s Hubert Andrzej. The 26-year-old overcame the Chinese 4-3 to emerge triumphant after the Slovakian had missed his second shootoff clay target to settle for bronze. Ankur also won the team bronze in the event along with compatriots Md. Asab and Shardul Vihaan, their tally of 409 points putting them behind China’s 410 and the gold winning team Italy’s tally of 411.

In other events of the day, two Indian women missed out on the finals of their respective events by the narrowest of margins. Anjum Moudgil, who has already won a silver here in 10m air rifle and a 2020 Olympic quota place for India, shot 1170 in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions qualifying round to finish ninth. The top eight make it to the finals.

Anjum shot the same score as the eighth placed Nina Christen of Switzerland, but Nina’s 66 inner 10 shots were higher than Anjum’s tally of 56 inner 10s, putting the Swiss ahead in the rankings. Manu Bhaker, in the women’s 25m pistol, tallied 584 in qualification to finish 10th.

At the end of the second rapid fire qualification round, four shooters — Singapore’s Xiu Hong Teh, Qatar’s Aldana Saad Almubarak, Greece’s Olympic and world champion in the 10m air pistol Anna Korakaki and Manu, were tied at the same score. However, Xiu and Almubarak made it through as their tally of 22 and 21 inner 10s were better than Anna’s 19 and Manu’s 16.

In the trap mixed team junior event, Manisha Keer and Manavaditya Singh Rathore reached the six-team final with a qualification score of 139, which placed them second.

They eventually finished fourth, with a score of 24 in the final. The Italian pair of Erica Sessa and Lorenzo Ferrari won the gold medal with junior world record score of 42 in the final.

After the seventh day of competition, India have 20 medals -- seven gold, seven silver and six bronze, putting them in the second position behind Korea and ahead of China.

Hriday wins world title

Tushar Dutt, Young Hriday wins hearts, world title, September 8, 2018: The Times of India

Women’s Air Rifle Team Too Clinches Gold

Two days, two world champions. After 16-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary’s gold in junior men’s 10m air pistol on Thursday, it was the turn of Hriday Hazarika, also 16, to strike gold – in the junior men’s 10m air rifle – at the World Championships in Changwon, South Korea.

In junior women’s 10m air rifle event, India’s Elavenil Valarivan won silver, while Shreya Agarwal bagged bronze. The junior women’s team comprising Elavenil, Shreya and Manini Kaushik totalled 1880.7 to create a new junior world record and win gold.

In all, India won three individual medals – a gold, silver and bronze – in junior men’s and women’s 10m air rifle. China could win only one medal – gold in women’s category – out of possible six.

In the junior men’s event, Hriday shot 627.3 to qualify for the eight-man final. He displayed immense control over his nerves and shot consistently throughout the 24-shot final. The magnitude of his shooting can be seen with six 10.8s scores and a 10.9 other than many higher 10-pointers that he hit during the final. Only two shots were below 10 (9.4 and 9.8).

Hriday was tied at 250.1 with Iran’s silver medallist Amir Mohammad Nekounam after the 24th shot. In the shoot-off to decide the gold, Hriday shot 10.3, while the Irani shot 10.2 to settle for silver. The bronze went to Russian shooter Grigoria Shamakov with a score of 228.6.

The medal has come after a series of sacrifices and hardship for the Assam boy. Hriday’s mother, who was a school teacher at a government school in Guwahati, left her job and shifted to Delhi for her son’s training. His father, who is a principal at a government college in Guwahati, had to stay back.

“I think this medal would not have been possible if my mother had not taken that bold step of quitting her job just to be with me. I feel proud today to have won a medal for the country, and it is all because of the sacrifices my parents made for me,” said Hriday while talking to TOI .

Junior men’s 25m pistol team leads

Junior men’s 25m pistol team leads in Worlds, September 13, 2018: The Times of India

Vijayveer Sidhu and Udhayveer Sidhu shot 291 each in the junior men’s 25m pistol event to claim the top two individual spots after the first qualification round at the 52nd ISSF World Championship here on Wednesday. They partnered with Rajkanwar Singh Sandhu to be in pole position in the team section as well, with a combined score of 861. Thursday will see the second rapid fire qualification round of the event followed by the final.

India’s other results of the day: 25M Center Fire Pistol Men - Gurpreet Singh is 17thplace after round 1 ; Vijay Kumar is in 20thplace after round 1 of qualifications; Anish Bhanwala is in 34thplace after round 1 of qualifications.

300M Standard Rifle Men: Amit Kumar shot 560 to finish 23rd; Parul Kumar shot 553 to finish 28th; Akash Kumar Ravidas shot 529 to finish 34th; Team finished 8th.

300M Rifle 3 Positions Women: Lajja Gauswami shot 1141 to finish 12th; Ranjana Gupta shot 1094 to finish 29th.

Juniors: two more gold; Seniors: Gurpreet wins silver

September 15, 2018: The Times of India

Gurpreet Singh clinched a silver in the senior men’s standard pistol but India’s junior shooters continued to hold centre-stage, snaring two gold medals to steer the country to its best-ever finish in the ISSF World Championships.

Vijayveer Sidhu, 16, shot a gold in the 25m standard pistol event for junior men after combining with Rajkanwar Singh Sandhu and Adarsh Singh to claim the team gold on the last day of the prestigious International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) competition.

India signed off third in the overall medals tally with 11 gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals for a total of 27, making this their best performance in the showpiece.

Sidhu, who finished fourth in the 25m pistol Thursday, managed an individual score of 572 to finish ahead of Korean Lee Gunheyok (570) and China’s Haojie Zhu 565).

In the team competition, Sidhu, Sandhu (564) and Singh (559) totalled 1695 to fetch the top honours with Korea (1693) and Czech Republic (1674) settling for the silver and the bronze medals respectively.

Singh managed a fourthplace finish in the individual competition.

In the senior competition, Gurpreet Singh ensured that the contingent signed off on a positive note with his silver.

The former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist fired a score of 579 to finish second behind Ukraine’s Pavlo Korostylov, who shot a score of 581. The bronze medal went to Koreas Kim Junhong, who shot the same score as the Indian but had lesser inner-10s to his credit.

India ended fourth in the team event with Gurpreet, Amanpreet Singh (560) and London Olympics silvermedallist Vijay Kumar (560) combining for a score of 1699.

India’s junior women’s skeet team finished a creditable fourth with the trio of Simranpreet Kaur, Parinaaz Dhaliwal and Areeba Khan totalling 318. None of them managed to qualify for the individual finals.

In the men’s skeet event, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa shot 118 to finish 49th, followed by Sheeraz Sheikh (115) at 69th. Mairaj Ahmad Khan shot 113 to finish 77th. The team finished 20th. In the men’s 300M rifle 3 positions Parul Kumar (1134) was the best-placed Indian at 24th, while Amit Kumar shot 1124 to finish 28th. Akash Ravidas was further down at at 35th with a score of shot 1077. The team finished 8th with 3335 points.

 Mitharval wins gold; women falter

September 5, 2018: The Times of India

There was mixed feeling in the Indian shooting contingent at the World Championships in Changwon. On one hand, the men’s senior 50m pistol found a new world champion in Om Prakash Mitharval, while on the other, Heena Sidhu, Manu Bhaker and Shweta Chaudhary failed to enter the final of women’s 10m air pistol event.

Other than the medal, the women trio also missed out on sealing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics berths. Four quotas were on offer in their event. In a junior event, the mixed pair of Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhidnya Patil won bronze in 10m air pistol mixed event.

Mitharval, who had won bronze in men’s 10m air pistol and 50m pistol at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year, shot 564 in the qualification round to win the yellow metal. Since 50m pistol is not an Olympic event anymore, no finals are conducted in this category.

In women’s 10m air pistol qualifications, Manu fared better among the three Indians. With a score of 574, Manu was placed 13th , while Heena shot 571 and was ranked 29th . Shweta was 45th with a poor score of 568. This was the second event of the meet for Heena and Manu, as they had earlier failed to enter the final of 10m air pistol mixed event, along with Shahzar Rizvi and Abhishek Verma as their respective partners.

In the junior event, Chaudhary and Abhidnya qualified with a score of 761 for the five-team final. The second Indian pair of Devanshi Rana and Anmol Jain scored 765 to enter the final.

Punjab twins win gold

Hindol Basu & Neel Kamal, September 14, 2018: The Times of India

Udhayveer Sidhu, all of 16, shone bright with an individual gold in the junior men’s 25m pistol event after spearheading India to the team gold in the same event at the 52nd World Shooting Championship in Changwon, South Korea, on Thursday. Compatriot and twin brother, Vijayveer Sidhu, and Patiala lad Rajkanwar Sandhu comprised the Indian team.

Udhayveer, who hails from Mansa, shot a score of 587 (291 in precision and 296 in rapid) in the individual competition to grab the gold ahead of American Henry Leverett (584) and South Korean Lee Jaekyoon (582). Vijayveer finished fourth with a score of 581, while Rajkanwar took the 20th spot with a score of 568.

The trio’s combined score of 1736 gave India the team gold. China came second after totaling a score of 1730. The bronze medal went to South Korea with a score of 1721. Rajkanwar improved from his precision score of 279 to add 289 in the rapid, which gave India the gold in the team event. “Both the American and Korean shooters were close on my heels. So it was important to keep my cool. The rapid round proved to be quite favourable for me. I feel proud today to have won gold medal for the country,” Udhayveer told TOI.

“While I missed out on an individual medal, I am happy that the gold medal is coming to our home,” said Vijayveer. “We train together and share our knowledge. That is our biggest strength.”

Udhayveer and Vijayveer’s mother Rano Kaur, who is a teacher, and maternal uncle Sukhdarshan Natt were elated over the achievement of the two brothers. Talking about Udhayveer’s gold medal-winning feat, uncle Sukhdarshan said, “It is a moment of pride for the family that both brothers have won gold medals. This performance is due to their hard work and unflinching dedication towards the sport.”

The Sidhu brothers belong to Mansa and shifted base to Chandigarh in 2015. They had started shooting in 2010. The twins, who study in Class XII at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, lost their father Gurpreet Singh Sidhu in August last year. Their father was working as assistant district education officer in Mansa.

“Their father was very concerned about their practice . Had he been alive today, he would have been the happiest person in this world,” mother Rano Kaur, who teaches at Government Senior Secondary School in Kumbra, Mohali, said. “My blessings are always with both, and I wish that they continue to make the country proud in the future.”

Rajkanwar thanked national pistol shooting coach Jaspal Rana for his improved performances. “His mantra for me is ‘focus on your strength and attain perfection in it’. I follow him blindly,” said Rajkanwar.

Shreya-Divyansh win Jr mixed bronze

September 6, 2018: The Times of India

Indian shooters added another medal to their tally when Shreya Agrawal and Divyansh Singh Panwar combined to win the junior 10m air rifle mixed bronze at the ISSF World Championships in Changwon on Wednesday.

After scoring 834.4 points to qualifying fifth for the five-team final, the Indian pair started the medal round with some consistent 10s. With three series of 102.8, 102.8 and 10.4, the Indian were in the second position till midway.

The Indians slipped to third position after the fourth series. They shot 435 before getting eliminated and securing bronze for the country. Shreya is a trainee of Gagan Narang’s Gun for Glory academy.

The other Indian pair of Elavenil Valarivan and Hriday Hazarika finished 13th in the qualification with a combined score of 829.5.

In senior men’s 50m rifle prone event, Chain Singh finished 14th (623.9), while Sanjeev Rajput shot 620 to end at the 48th position. The event has been removed from the Olympic programme by the ISSF.

In women’s 50m rifle prone, Tejaswini Sawant was ranked 28th after shooting 617.4, while silver medallist in 10m air rifle event, Anjum Moudgil, had a score of 616.5 which put her in 33rd position. Shreya Saksena was placed at lowly 54th position with a poor score of 609.9.


Pistol (junior national)

Manu Bhaker of Haryana won a double gold in junior sport pistol in Thiruvananthapuram.

The 16-year-old Bhaker claimed the individual gold in junior girl's sport pistol with 24, a yellow metal in junior team and a silver in senior team. Ravi Kumar and Rahi Sarnobat were crowned national champions in the men's 10m air rifle and women's 25m pistol events respectively in the ongoing National Shooting Championship. Ravi of Indian Air Force shot 250.2 in the final to quell the challenge of Army's Sandeep Singh, who shot 249.6 for silver. Keval Prajapati of Gujarat won bronze. Maharashtra's Rahi shot 36 in the final to leave behind Pushpanjali Rana of the CRPF, who shot 30. In the 25m junior girl's pistol event, Bhaker, Tanu Rawal and Tejaswani bagged gold with a total of 1700. Maharashtra finished second.


International Competitions of Hannover

May 14, 2018: The Times of India


Heena was tied with France's Mathilde Lamolle on 239.8 points.

Heena won the tie to win the gold ahead of Mathilde.

Shri Nivetha finished on 219.2 points to get the bronze.

Heena warms up for Munich WC with gold

Indian shooter Heena Sidhu clinched the gold medal while compatriot P Shri Nivetha settled for bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol at the International Shooting Competitions of Hannover ahead of next week’s ISSF Munich World Cup. Heena was tied with France’s Mathilde Lamolle on 239.8 points, but edged past her opponent in the final moments.

Youth Olympic Games

Mehuli Ghosh, Shahu Mane win silver

Mehuli settles for silver in Youth Oly, October 9, 2018: The Times of India

The highly-talented Mehuli Ghosh came within striking distance of winning a historic gold before settling for a silver medal in the women's 10m air-rifle shooting event of the Youth Olympic Games here Monday. A 9.1 in the 24th and final shot, after a sequence of high and mid 10s, cost her the gold medal as she eventually settled for the second position with a total of 248.0.

The 18-year-old Indian finished behind Denmark's Stephanie Grundsoee, who ended with a score of 248.7. This was India's second silver from the shooting ranges in two days with Shahu Mane coming second in the men's air rifle event.


The year as a whole

Till Sept: 16 Gold In 4 World Cup Editions

Tushar Dutt, Sep 4, 2019: The Times of India

The Indian rifle and pistol shooters had won 12 World Cup gold medals in 33 years till 2018. In just eight months in this year, 2019, Indian shooters clinched 16 gold medals!

The young shooting brigade of the country, who have emerged as world-beaters, ended their 4-edition World Cup series with 22 medals — 16 gold, four silver and two bronze medals. As a bonus, trhey have won nine quota places for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The biggest game-changer for India has been the mixed-gender events, which were introduced last year by the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).

If shooting had a career slam, Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary would have completed it this year. Winning mixed gold, where rules were changed thrice in four editions, is no mean feat. The duo has done it four successive times this year by winning gold in 10m air pistol mixed event at Delhi, Beijing, Munich and Rio de Janeiro World Cups. On Monday, the two won their fourth gold together after beating compatriots Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Deswal 17-15 in the final at Rio.

India also won gold in the 10m air rifle mixed event through Apurvi Chandela and Deepak Kumar.

When asked what has changed the shooting scenario in the last couple of years, Manu, 17, said stiff competition back home is the reason behind improvement in performances. “So many young shooters have come up in the last couple of year in India that there is no chance of getting complacent. We have to consistently shoot well to maintain our spots in the squad,” Manu told TOI from Rio.

Other than shooting well, the young generation is also aggressive in approach. Unlike their predecessors, they don't believe in taking long breaks. Manu dismissed the belief that training and competing continuously leads to a shooter’s burnout. “There are 24 hours in a day. So if I shoot for 3-4 hours, it won’t burn me out. I don't believe in taking long breaks from training,” the Haryana girl added.

The youngsters are also maintaining their form and world No. 2 Abhishek Verma credits it to a robust data collection. “When we train or compete, we note down everything about our shooting. We record things that we do when we are shooting well and are winning medals. Likewise, we also note down things we did when we did not do well. When we don't shoot well, we go back to the diary and see what could be done to rectify our mistakes,” Verma, who won 10m air pistol individual gold in Beijing and Rio World Cups, said.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh said giving exposure to the shooters has made a lot of difference in their attitude.

Three India shooters end year as world No. 1

Tushar Dutt, Nov 26, 2019: The Times of India

If there were doubts about Indian shooters’ performance at the world level this year, they should be dispelled with this piece of news. Three Indians have finished as No. 1 in the year-end World rankings and will receive the International Shooting Sports Federation’s (ISSF) ‘Golden Target’ award.

ISSF has started the Golden Target award for the top-ranked shooters this year. The awards will be given to top shooters from 12 categories on December 7 in Munich.

Divyansh Singh Panwar and young Elavenil Valarivan have topped the men’s and women’s 10m air rifle categories respectively, while pistol ace Saurabh Chaudhary has ended the year as No. 1 in men’s 10m air pistol event. Out of the 12 Olympic categories (individual), India has maximum No. 1s, followed by China and USA (2 each).

Elavenil made her senior World Cup debut this year and finished fourth in the Munich World Cup. She clinched gold in the fourth World Cup at Rio de Janeiro and followed it up by topping the podium at the World Cup Finals in China last week.

“When I started the year as a senior, the only thing I was focused on was the transition from junior to senior category. I had certainly not thought about ending the year as World No. 1 in the senior category. This award has raised expectations and I will have to work harder to maintain my position next year,” Elavenil told TOI.

Apurvi world no. 1, Anjum no.2

Saibal Bose, May 2, 2019: The Times of India

Shooter Apurvi is now world No. 1


City girl Apurvi Chandela hit a historic bullseye on Wednesday when she became the world number one 10m air rifle woman shooter. In the world rankings released on the day, Chandela tops the list with 1926 points. Incidentally, another Indian Anjum Moudgal is placed second. Anjali Bhagwat is the only Indian woman to have topped this list in the past. Chandela is also the 10th Indian to become world number one in any shooting events. She joins the likes of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Gagan Narang, Jitu Ra, Heena Sidhu among others.

Chandela expressed her happiness and said the ultimate test would be the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Chandela, who has already earned a quota place for the Olympics, has been very consistent in the recent past. She won the ISSF World Cup gold in New Delhi earlier this year.

She returned to the city from China after an event in China and is currently preparing for the Munich World Cup later this month.

Asian Shooting Championships

India wins all 8 air weapon Olympic berths, a first

Tushar Dutt , Nov 6, 2019: The Times of India

For his 32nd birthday, all Deepak Kumar wished was ‘no surprises’. For once, he wanted to stick to a shooter’s mundane routine. And he did. His gift was a ticket to the Tokyo Games, and in the bargain, a bronze medal in men’s 10m air rifle at the Asian Championships in Doha. The meet is the last chance to clinch 2020 quota places for Asian shooters.

The Air Force marksman shot 227.8 in the eight-man final. With Deepak’s quota, India, for the first time, has clinched all 8 possible Olympic berths in air weapon events. Now India has four air rifle quotas (Deepak, Divyansh Panwar, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil) and four air pistol events (Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini Deswal). Along with the individual events, the eight shooters will also be eligible to form pairs to compete in the mixed-gender event at Tokyo.

Overall, this was India’s 10th quota place. An elated Deepak said there was a lot of pressure on him, but he tried to remain calm, and it worked. “I have had many opportunities in the past to win a quota place, but I couldn’t. This being the last one had a pressure of its own. Along with a few technical changes, I had also worked on my shooting time before this meet ,” Deepak told TOI.

Gold for Manu Bhaker

Teen shooter Manu Bhaker made her Asian Championships debut by clinching gold in the women’s 10m air pistol event in Doha. The Youth Olympics champion and World Cup gold winner shot 244.3 in the final. The Indian entered the final by topping the qualification round with a score of 584.

India bag 8 medals

India bag 8 medals in Asian shooting

New Delhi: Indian shooters won eight medals on day two of the Asian Shooting Championship in Lusail, Qatar but the contingent also missed out on at least three possible Tokyo 2020 quota places.

The contingent was able to win five medals on day one of the competition and now the total medal tally stands at — five gold, three silver, and six bronze medals.

Vivaan, Esha win two gold medals each

Chinki keeps Olympic quota hopes alive

Doha: Chinki Yadav kept alive India’s hopes of securing the second Olympic quota in women’s 25m Pistol, clinging to fifth place in the first round qualification of the Asian Shooting Championship here on Thursday. Chinki shot an exceptional 292 and will be looking to make the final and take a shot at clinching one of the four available Tokyo berths. Rahi Sarnobat has already secured the other quota place for India in the event in earlier competitions. Vivaan Kapoor and Esha Singh won two gold medals each as India dominated the junior competitions.

Chinki wins India’s 11th quota for 2020 Olympics

Tushar Dutt, Nov 9, 2019: The Times of India

Seven years ago when Chinki Yadav first went to a shooting range, she didn’t know the difference between rifle and pistol. As a result, she ended up trying shotgun for a month.

The Bhopal girl showed no signs of confusion and shot her career-best to clinch India’s 11th quota for the 2020 Tokyo Games. Chinki, 21, secured the berth in women’s 25m pistol category, despite not winning a medal in the Asian Shooting Championships in Doha. With Rahi Sarnobat having already qualified, India has now won maximum two quotas in the event.

Although Chinki has clinched a quota in the event, it will be difficult for the Bhopal girl to represent the country at Tokyo. Chinki’s quota has come in an event in which India already has two strong contenders in Manu Bhaker and Rahi. While Asian champion Rahi shoots only in 25m pistol event, Manu had clinched a quota in 10m air pistol event. She will be eligible to shoot in both the events at Tokyo.

It will be a big headache for the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) to take a call on the entry for women’s 25m pistol event. In case the federation decides to field Manu and Rahi, Chinki’s quota can be transferred to any other shooter — in an event where India has not won a berth.

Chinki, nonetheless, was excited after her performance. “I am really happy to have finally won a quota. I am also glad for making it to the final, as I had missed out the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro by one point,” Chinki told TOI.

She shot 588 to finish second in the qualification round. In the first five series, she scored 99, 97, 96, 99 and 97, but the last series of 100 was pivotal in putting her in top-8.

The quota got confirmed once Chinki made it to top-8, since there were four berths available in the event and four out of eight shooters had already won Tokyo tickets in previous events. In the final, Chinki couldn’t handle the pressure well and finished 6th with a score of 16.

Daughter of an electrician in MP government's sports department, Chinki took up shooting when she was 14. “My father sent me to a summer camp being hosted by MP Academy. Since I had no clue about the sport, I first tried shotgun, but couldn’t do much. Then I went to the 10m range and sat for hours to observe both rifle and pistol shooters. I decided to take up pistol. I am glad that I did,” she said.

Tejaswini earns Olympics quota

Tushar Dutt, Nov 10, 2019: The Times of India

Tejaswini Sawant’s dream of becoming an Olympian is finally taking shape. And if it happens, no one will deserve it more than the former World champion shooter. The Kolhapur shooter won a quota for the 2020 Tokyo Games after finishing fourth in women’s 50m rifle 3position final. As five of the eight finalists had already qualified for Tokyo in earlier meets, Tejaswini’s entry in topeight was enough to fetch one of the three quota places.

Tejaswini shot 1,171(out of 1,200) in the qualification and missed the medal after a fourth-place finish (435.8). After a series of heartbreaks, dip in form and family commitments, Tejaswini’s 12-year-old quest to qualify for the Games finally ended on Saturday. She had won gold in 50m rifle prone event at the World Championships in 2010. Since women’s prone was never an Olympic event, she has remained a World champion without an Olympian’s tag. “I feel my struggle to qualify for Olympics has finally come to an end,” an elated Tejaswini told TOI.

The shooter had missed out on qualifying for the 2008 four times. The pattern continued ahead of the 2012 Olympics, and she was out of touch with the sport ahead of the 2016 Games. This year, Tejaswini participated only in one quota event (Rio de Janeiro World Cup), before the Asian Championships. “In the 2008 qualifiers, I had missed two quotas even after getting my scores tied. Once, I missed it by one point. It was the same before 2012. It wasn’t as close as 2008 though,” Tejaswini said.

After 2013, Tejaswini sort of lost touch with shooting due to her mother’s health issues. She started training again in 2016 and came back to the Indian team in 2017.

The turning point for Tejaswini, 39, was the Commonwealth Games last year, where she won gold in the 3position event and silver in prone. This was the only podium finish for Tejaswini after her World Championships gold in 2010. “The CWG medals made me realise that age is not a barrier at all. I had such a great support from my family and my coach (Kuheli Gangulee) that I had to do well for them,” she said.

One thing that goes in Tejaswini’s favour is her routine, which the shooter dedicatedly follows. “I don’t believe in doing anything fancy. I follow my coach’s plan and I do it without any break. I have been training for only 2-3 hours a day, but this has been consistently followed by me,” she said.

Shooters ensure record 15 Olympic berths

Tushar Dutt, Nov 11, 2019: The Times of India

It is confirmed. India will send their biggest contingent in shooting at the Olympics.

Indian shooters surpassed their Rio de Janeiro figure of 12 quotas on Sunday by clinching three more 2020 Olympic berths at the ongoing Asian Championships in Doha.

Aishwary Pratap Sing Tomar,18, sealed a berth in men’s 50m rifle 3position event, while Angad Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Khan opened the account for shotgunners by sealing two skeet berths in the last quota event. While Bajwa defended his title, Mairaj bagged silver after a shoot-off in the goldmedal round with his teammate, to clinch two of the three quotas available in the event.

In men’s 3P, young Aishwary took bronze for the quota place as five out of eight shooters in the final were vying for three Olympic berths.

Aishwary, who had won gold with a world record in the Junior World Cup in Germany in July, decided to participate in senior events this year. This was his first international participation as senior.

“After his gold in the junior World Cup, we decided to shift gears and aim for the quota place. That was possible only if he made it to the senior team, so we decided to field him in the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS where scores don’t count for medals) category of the senior World Cups. His scores pushed him to the senior team,” Aishwary’s coach Suma Shirur told TOI.

“When I was asked to pick one from junior and senior, I went for the latter. I took it as a challenge,” the Madhya Pradesh boy, who shot 1168 in the qualification round and 449.1 in the final to take bronze. In 2016, India had won 12 quota places and had 17 shots at medals (with a few shooters starting in more than one event). For Tokyo, India has 15 individual quota places and the shooters will have 21 medal opportunities.

Indian marksmen have shown real progress in the rifle-pistol events, as out of 10 events, they have won quotas in nine events. The only event that India doesn’t have a quota is men’s 25m rapid fire event.

While in shotgun, Bajwa and Mairaj saved the face for shotgunners despite bad weather.

“It rained first and there was a bad dust storm, and the play was stopped for some time. The conditions were bad for all of us but I am glad I could pull it off,” said Bajwa, 23, who had clinched gold in the last year’s edition.

“There was of course a lot of pressure before the match since we had not won any quota in shotgun events. But as the match progressed, I grew more confident. Earlier the aim was to win a quota, but then I aimed for gold and defend my title. I got a lot of support from my teammate Amrinder Cheema, who helped me with my ammunition during the match,” said Bajwa, who was tied with Mairaj at 56 in the final.

The tie was broken by a shoot-off, where Bajwa shot 6, while Mairaj shot 5. Bajwa said he was in touch of his Norwegian shooter-tur ned-coach Tore Brovold through phone after every round.

Saurabh wins silver, Verma 5th

Nov 12, 2019: The Times of India

Teen shooter Saurabh Chaudhary claimed the silver medal in men’s 10m air pistol event to continue India’s surge at the 14th Asian Championship. The 17-year-old World Cup and the Asian Games gold-medallist shot 244.5 to finish second on the podium behind North Korea’s Kim Song Guk, who won the top prize with a world record 246.5. Iran’s Foroughi Javed bagged the bronze with a score of 221.8 at the Lusail Shooting Complex.

With 583, both Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma had qualified for the final in seventh and sixth place, respectively. However, Verma had to be satisfied with a fifth-place finish in the eight-man final, having managed 181.5.

Chaudhary had a great start to the final and had a series of 10 and above scores but the North Korean was in a league of his own on the day. Both Chaudhary and Verma had already secured their Olympic quotas in the earlier competitions. Shreya Agrawal and Dhanush Srikanth won the gold medal in the 10m air rifle mixed team junior competition, while Gurnihal Garcha, Abhay Singh Sekhon and Ayush Rudraraju won team gold in the junior men’s skeet. PTI

Dhanush shoots triple gold on debut

Tushar Dutt, Nov 13, 2019: The Times of India

Dhanush Srikanth couldn’t have asked for a better international debut.

The Telangana boy clinched three gold medals at the ongoing Asian Shooting Championships in Doha on Tuesday. With this, Dhanush, 16, became India’s first shooter with hearing impairment to win medals at an open international meet. Dhanush secured top place in junior men’s 10m air rifle individual, mixed-gender and team events.

The teen shooter dominated the individual final as he won gold with a margin of 2.5 points over China’s Xuanle Jiang. Dhanush scored 248.2 in the final, while the Chinese shot 245.7. Bronze went to Dhanush’s teammate Shahu Mane with a score of 226.4. Although Dhanush’s gold came with a comfortable margin, he shot his last shot under pressure after getting a yellow card before the final shot.

Since this was Dhanush’s first international meet, he was nervous and was loading the pellets in his rifle before the command issued by the range official. As a result, the jury had to give him a warning (yellow card) and another mistake would have cost him 2 points from his score. But the youngster remained calm and shot a 10.6 in his final shot to take the gold. Dhanush, Mane and Hriday Hazarika won the team gold with a combined score of 1877.1. In the mixed-gender final, Dhanush paired with his Shreya Agarwal to beat the Chinese pair of Jiang and Zeru Wang 16-14. Both Dhanush and Shreya train at Gagan Narang’s Gun For Glory academy in Pune.

“He was a little nervous since it was his first international event. He was under pressure when people strated clapping, but we asked him to expect such distractions and he shot really well,” Dhanush’s coach Neha Chavan told TOI.

Asian Airgun Championships

Gold and record for Saurabh-Manu pair

March 28, 2019: The Times of India

With the junior qualification and final records already registered in their name, the pair of Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker claimed the senior qualification record and gold in the 10m air pistol mixed team event at the 12th Asian Airgun Championships in Taoyuan, Taipei. The pair — it had won gold at the ISSF World Cup in Delhi last month — shot a combined score of 784 in the qualification round and later shot 484.8 in the final to win gold. Their score was 3.7 point more than the silver-winning pair of Seongeun Hwang and Kim Mose (481.1).

Indian shooters sweep shotgun golds

April 1, 2019: The Times of India

Indian shooters made a clean sweep of gold medals in 10m Air Rifle event to continue their dominance at the 12th Asian Airgun Championships in Taoyuan, Taipei. India have won 12 out of 14 gold medals so far and their overall tally stand at 12 gold, four silver and two bronze medals.

On the fifth day of the competition, Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan bagged the 10m Air Rifle men and women’s individual golds. They combined with respective teammates to win two Team gold medals as well and ensured a clean sweep. PTI

Shreya wins gold, sets world record

Tushar Dutt, April 2, 2019: The Times of India

When rifle shooter Shreya Agarwal saw her name in the Indian squad for the Asian Airgun shooting championships in January, she had to contain her joy and make a tough call.

Since the event was scheduled in March and the Jabalpur shooter was preparing for class XII state board exams, whose dates were clashing with the tournament, the shooter had to choose between the two.

Shreya, 17, decided to skip the exams. On Monday, she proved it was a smart decision by clinching gold in junior women’s 10m air rifle event at the Asian Airgun meet in Taoyuan, Taipei.

Shreya’s gold came with a world record (junior) in the final. Her score of 252.5 was good enough for a podium finish and also broke Chinese shooter Ruozhu Zhao’s previous record by 0.1 point.

South Korea’s Hyejin Park won silver with 250.6, while Shreya's teammate Mehuli Ghosh scored 228.3 for bronze.

“She shot well in the final, but we need to work on the qualifications. She shot 629, but that is not enough,” said Shreya’s coach Nishant Naithwani. Shreya trains at Gagan Narang’s Gun For Glory academy in Jabalpur. Shreya has requested the state government to allow her to appear for re-tests. She is waiting for the state education department’s response.

India dominates Asian Airgun Championship

April 1, 2019: Newsonair

Indian shooters have made a clean sweep in 10m Air Rifle event at the 12th Asian Airgun Championships in Taoyuan, Taipei. Continuing their dominance in the tournament, India have won 12 out of 14 gold medals so far. India currently have 12 gold, four silver and two bronze medals in its kitty.

On the fifth day of the competition today , Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan bagged the 10m Air Rifle men and women's individual golds. Divyansh shot for silver while Shin's aimed at bronze.

In group event, India clinched the gold. In the women's final, Elavenil also led from the front to shoot a score of 250.5 and emerge triumphant.  Hosts Taipei's Lin Ying-Shin won silver with 250.2 while Park Sunmin of Korea bagged bronze with a score of 229.1.

The Indian women's team of Elavenil, Apurvi and Meghana claimed the top spot with a combined total of 1878.6. Taipei were second with 1872.  The competition concludes on Monday with the junior events in the 10m Air Rifle.

Coach Mansher accused of partiality, conflict of interest

Tushar Dutt, June 8, 2019: The Times of India

All is not well in the shotgun camp of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).

Some key names, including trap shooter Shagun Chowdhary and skeet shooter Angad Bajwa, have accused the national shotgun coach Mansher Singh of disallowing them to train with their respective personal coaches outside the national camps, despite attending the national camps.

They have also alleged that Mansher personally trains three shooters of the national team in personal capacity and favours them openly, while pressurizing the shooters who are objecting to his behaviour. According to the shooters, Mansher’s conflict of interest has created a divide in the team and the coach singles out the shooters who don’t train under him in his personal capacity.

Shagun, 35, is India’s only woman shotgun shooter who has participated in the Olympics (2012) and Angad is the only Indian skeet shooter to hold a world record in the discipline. She trains under former Italian world champion Daniele di Spigno and Angad is getting guidance from Beijing silver medallist Norwegian shooter-turned-coach Tore Brovold. “Mansher is the national coach, and we respect him. I have attended the national camps and have more than the required 85% attendance. I have been training with my personal coach Daniele for over a year and he knows me better than anyone else. I have never shown disrespect towards the national camps, neither have I brought my personal coach to the camps. But the national coach has a problem even if I train with Daniele outside the national camps,” Shagun told TOI.

Angad’s father Gurpal was even more concerned. He said shooting is a mental game and there has been so much negativity in the national team that it is affecting the shooters’ performances.

On the objections and allegations of shooters, Mansher told TOI: “When I became national coach, I had submitted a list of shooters who were training under me to the NRAI and Sports Authority of India. I don’t agree with the charges that I favour shooters who train under me in personal capacity. I recuse myself from the selection duty if it concerns any shooter who trains under me. When I am with the team for national duty, I am only a national coach and not a personal coach.”

India wins 1 gold, 2 silver

March 29, 2019: The Times of India

Indian shooters clinched one gold and two silver on the second day of competitions to remain on top of the standings in the 12th Asian Airgun Championships in Taoyuan, Taipei. Ravi Kumar and Elavenil Valarivan won a silver in the senior 10m air rifle mixed team event while India made it a 1-2 in the corresponding junior event on yet another profitable day.

Ravi and Elavenil topped the qualification rounds with a score of 837.1 but were beaten in the five-team final by the Korean pair of Park Sunmin and Shin Minki.

The Koreans won the gold with a score of 499.6 to the Indians’ 498.4. Chinese Taipei won the bronze. PTI

ISSF World Cup 

A lacklustre performance

Tushar Dutt, Home ‘disadvantage’ for India, February 27, 2019: The Times of India

Indian Shooters Manage To Get Only 1 Quota Place Out Of 12 On Offer

Indian shooters have learnt a bitter lesson. There is no ‘home advantage’ in shooting. In fact, the home support looked like a disadvantage here as most shooters got distracted by the support.

With the ISSF World Cup coming to a close, all Indian shooters have managed is one quota out of 12 they were contesting for. Barring Saurabh Chaudhary, who won gold in men’s 10m air pistol event along with a quota place, all other Indians in line for quotas shot mediocre scores.

On Tuesday, the biggest disappointment came from the women’s 10m air pistol event, where Heena Sidhu, Manu Bhaker and Anuradha failed to even enter the final. Manu finished 14th with a score of

573. Playing in her first international match, Anuradha stood 22nd with a score of 571. Heena too shot 571, but lesser inner 10s put her in the 25th spot. Heena admitted that she couldn’t do well on Tuesday despite a weak field. “Most of the top shooters were not here,” she said after her match.

She also said that since the match was in Delhi, she had over-trained for it.

“I was emotionally very attached to this match, because it's in Delhi. This is the range we always train at, this was the golden opportunity for us (to do well). I think we put a lot of emphasis on this match.”

National pistol coach Samaresh Jung said the cheering crowd at the Dr Karni Singh ranges wasn’t helpful. “When you know you have so many people cheering and shouting for you, you tend to get excited. Any sort of excitement is not good for shooters. It raises your heartbeat and that affects your shooting,” Jung said. “It is our good fortune that Saurabh is mentally strong and doesn’t pay attention to the crowd.”

In men’s 25m rapid fire event, young Anish Bhanwala shot a new national record in the qualification round with a score of 588. However, the 16-year-old shooter couldn’t win a medal in the final and finished fifth.

Anish, who was cheered by hundreds of Indian fans, wanted to go with the crowd and hit all five targets in the third series. He pumped his fist in the air to acknowledge the cheering crowd — very unusual for a shooter in between a match. In his next series of five shots, he could hit only one target right, missing four. He got eliminated in the next series with only two hits. “Yes, I actually got excited by the crowd,” Anish admitted.

Divyansh Singh Panwar, who was shooting in front of the home crowd for the first time, got off to a good start in his men’s 10m air rifle qualification on Monday. He scored a fantastic 106.9 in his second series. Then the cheering happened and the shooter lost track and shot series of 103s to finish 12th in qualification round.

“After the 106.9, people clapped and shouted my name. I am not used to it, so I was happy with the crowd cheering for me, but that put me under pressure. I started hitting 9s and tried to come back in the match, but I couldn’t,” Panwar said.

Meanwhile, in the women’s rifle 3position event, the best India could manage was 36th position through Gaayathri Nithyanandan’s 1,163. Sunidhi Chauhan was 49th with a score of 1,156, while veteran shooter Tejaswini Sawant failed to even enter the qualification round.

Saurabh-Manu win 10m air pistol mixed gold

Tushar Dutt, February 28, 2019: The Times of India

Duo Shoots 483.4 To Beat China By 5.7-Point Margin

The Meerut shooter, who has already won a gold and an Olympic quota in the men’s 10m air pistol event, shot another gold with Sheoran in attendance at the Dr Karni Singh shooting range on the last day of the World Cup.

Saurabh combined with Manu Bhaker to clinch the 10m air pistol mixed event. The Indian duo shot 483.4 to top the final with a huge margin of 5.7 points over the second placed pair from China.

The Chinese duo of Ranxin Jiang and Bowen Zhang shot 477.7 for silver. The bronze went to South Korean pair of Bomi Kim and Seungowoo Han with a total of 418.8 in the five-pair final.

“I never go for his matches as it may put him under pressure. But since he had already won a quota place and gold in the individual event, he himself called me for this match,” Sheoran, who had occupied the front row, said.

The Indian pair had qualified for the final after shooting a senior World Record equalling score of 778, and a new junior record. The other Indian pair of Heena Sidhu and Abhishek Verma finished ninth and failed to qualify for the final after shooting a total of 770.

In the 10m air rifle mixed event, both Indian pairs failed to enter the final. The duo of Anjum Moudgil and Ravi Kumar missed the final by 0.2 point as they totalled 836.3, while the fifth pair to qualify had scored 836.5. Another India pair of Apurvi Chandela and Deepak Kumar could manage 25th position with a low score of 831.

After failing to win in her two individual events, the medal was a relief for Manu. “I couldn’t do well in the earlier events despite my efforts. Now I have won a medal, it builds hope that I can do better next time. So that's why there is a sense of satisfaction with this medal,” Manu said after the match.

ISSF World Cup: 2 golds

Tushar Dutt, Shooters start mixed format with 2 gold, April 26, 2019: The Times of India


Shooting is no more an individual activity. Head-tohead duels, which were missing from the sport, have finally arrived, and the Indian shooters reacted to the introduction of new rules by winning gold medals in the 10m air rifle and 10m air pistol mixed events at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing.

To make the mixed events more TV friendly, the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) on Thursday implemented new rules to the team events. The new format has a qualification round, quarterfinals, semifinals and final where the teams are paired against each other according to their rankings. The top team then faces off with the bottom-ranked team, as it happens in archery.

On Thursday, the pair of Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar won gold in the air rifle event, beating China’s Yang Haoran and Liu Ruxuan, while in the pistol mixed event, the duo of Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker defeated Chinese Pang Wei and Jiang Ranxin to win the final.

“It was a new format and I was a little nervous, to be honest, but we did well to beat the Chinese in the end. There was a lot of movement in my body, but I think Anjum did well to compensate on my shortcomings,” Divyansh told TOI after his match. This was Divyansh’s first World Cup medal after he made his debut in the New Delhi edition in February.

ISSF World Cup: India no.1 team

April 29, 2019: The Times of India

India top medal tally at Beijing shooting WC


India drew blank on the final day but still topped the chart for the second consecutive ISSF World Cup, third time in two years, by bagging three gold and a silver at the Beijing edition of the Rifle/Pistol event here. India topped the medals tally ahead of hosts China (2 gold, 2 silver, 1bronze), who won five medals in total. In the last edition in New Delhi, India had jointly topped the standings with Hungary.

For India, while Anjum Moudgil and young Divyansh Singh Panwar started the medal hunt with a gold in the 10m air rifle mixed team competition, the teenaged pair of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary backed them up with another yellow metal in the 10m air pistol mixed team pistol event. Divyansh then won India’s first individual medal by clinching a silver in the men’s 10m air rifle. PTI

Apurvi wins women's 10m Air Rifle gold

Tushar Dutt, May 27, 2019: The Times of India

Apurvi Chandela wins year's second women's 10m Air Rifle World Cup gold

PUNE: Apurvi Chandela didn’t have a World Cup gold till Januar 2019. Now she has two.

The ace shooter, who had won her first World Cup gold in the New Delhi edition in February, clinched another on Sunday and topped the podium in the women’s 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich. In the second World Cup at Beijing, last month, Apurvi had finished fourth. On Sunday, Apurvi’s score 251 was only 0.2 point more than of China’s Luyao Wang (250.8), while another Chinese Hong Xu finished third with a score of 229.4.

The win was special for Apurvi. It was the same venue last year where she had finished fourth after being in gold contention till she shot a freak 5.9.

Memories of last year’s crash still played on Apurvi’s mind on Sunday. “Of course I was thinking about it (5.9), but since I have been worked hard on my finals, I just stuck to my plan and didn’t let it affect my performance,” she told TOI.

Since the last year’s Munich World Cup, Apurvi has participated in six major events and has entered finals all the time. Out of the six finals, she has won gold twice, while three times she has finished fourth and on one occasion she was placed fifth.

In the last three World Cups, Apurvi has shot 629.3, 630.9 and 633, while in the finals she has shot with an average score of 10.4, which means each shot Apurvi has fired in the last three finals has been a 10.4. In shooting, 10.9 is the highest.

Apurvi feels the competition she faces in the domestic circuit keeps her on her toes and has helped her do well all this while. “We have a tough competition in India. Elavenil (Valarivan), who also shot well today, and other shooters have been consistently shooting so well that I don't have time to be complacent. It has pushed me to do well consistently,” she added.

Apurvi has already won a quota place for the Tokyo 2020 Games. She admitted that there is a pressure of maintaining her form in the domestic ranking, but she is not here to complain. The quota belongs to the country and according to the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) policy, the quota goes to the top-ranked shooter and not necessarily to the one who wins it.

“There is pressure. I know I will have to maintain my ranking, but I am shooting well and I am enjoying the pressure,” the Jaipur girl said.

Elavenil finished fourth with a score of 208.3, after scoring 632.7 in the qualifications. Third Indian in fray, Anjum Moudgil finished 11th after shooting 628.9 in the qualifiers.

 Rahi, Saurabh win gold

Tushar Dutt, May 28, 2019: The Times of India

Two faces of Indian shooting — one a seasoned veteran and the other a 17-year-old legend in the making — shone bright at the World Cup in Munich.

Rahi Sarnobat and Saurabh Chaudhary won gold medals to showcase a heady mix of experience and exuberance in Indian shooting.

Rahi, 28, who had become the first Indian pistol shooter to win a World Cup gold in 2013, clinched her second gold by topping the women’s 25m pistol final. The Kolhapur girl also has a World Cup bronze to her credit, and became the first Indian woman pistol shooter to win gold at the Asian Games.

Saurabh, the teenager from Meerut, also won his second World Cup gold, in only his second appearance in the elite championship, when he topped the men’s 10m air pistol final.

Both the medals came with a bonus. Rahi bagged a quota place for the Tokyo 2020 Games, while Saurabh shot a new world record. This is the second time Saurabh has set a world record in the senior category. In his maiden World Cup in New Delhi in February, Saurabh had won gold and broke the seniors’ record by shooting 245 in the final. He had clinched a Tokyo quota place in the process.

On Monday, the boy from Kalina village scored 246.3 in the final. At the moment, Saurabh holds the senior and junior world records in 10m air pistol events. He also holds the junior and senior 10m air pistol mixed event world records with Manu Bhaker. Thus, Saurabh owns world records (finals) in all the events he participates in.

Pistol malfunction leaves Manu in tears Manu Bhaker, who was leading the final with a score of 21 till the sixth series, and had a good chance of winning a medal and a quota place, made a teary exit after her pistol malfunctioned in the final.

Her pistol jammed in the seventh series and the shooter raised her hand to notify the jury about the malfunction. After the jury checked the gun and Manu apparently fixed it, she was allowed to complete the five shots of the seventh series. However, the teenager’s pistol didn’t fire and she was eliminated in the 5th position since she got zero in the series.

Only one malfunction request is allowed per shooter. A shooter, however, can keep two guns to tackle such situations, but Manu didn’t have her second pistol. Rahi had qualified for the 8-woman final by scoring 586 (294 precision + 292 rapid) in the qualification round. Manu too shot well and scored 585 (289 + 296) to enter the final. Saurabh qualified for the final after shooting 586, while Shahzar Rizvi shot 583 to make the final. In the final, Saurabh got the lead after the first series of five shots, and maintained it till the last shot.

Shahzar scored 177.6 to finish fifth. Russia’s World Championships runner-up Artem Chernousov settled for silver with 243.8, while Beijing gold and Rio bronze medallist of China, Wei Pang, won bronze with a score of 220.7.

Indian men disappoint in 10m air rifle

May 29, 2019: The Times of India

Indian men disappoint in 10m air rifle in WC


After Indian shooters won three gold medal and a quota on the first two days, Indian riflemen struggled to continue the momentum as they failed to enter the final of the 10m air rifle event at Munich World Cup.

The trio of Deepak Kumar, Ravi Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar registered a dismal performance in the qualification round. Out of the three, Deepak was the best-placed Indian at 19th position, with a score of 628.3. Divyansh was 31st with 627.6, while Ravi was poorly placed at 86th position with 621.4, a score that was not enough for final cut-off even five years ago. The cut-off for the 8-man final was 629.5. The top shooter in the qualifications, China’s Haoran Yang shot 632.5.

In the final, Yang finished third with a score of 229, while the gold went to Czech Republic’s Filip Nepejchal (250.8), while Croatia’s Petar Gorsa won silver after finishing with a score of 249.5. India have bagged one of the maximum two quotas in this event through Divyansh. TNN

Elavenil wins 10m Air Rifle gold

Tushar Dutt, August 29, 2019: The Times of India

ISSF World Cup: India's Elavenil Valarivan wins 10m Air Rifle gold in Rio de Janeiro

PUNE: Elavenil Valarivan couldn't have asked for a better colour to open her senior account as the recently-turned-senior won 10m air rifle gold at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

Elavenil, who turned 20 last month, shot a brilliant final to pip her teammate Anjum Moudgil and World Cup gold medallist Ying-Shin Ling of Chinese Taipei for the first position. With this medal, Elavenil has become only the third Indian to have won gold in women's 10m air rifle event at the World Cup series. Anjali Bhagwat and Apurvi Chandela have earlier achieved the feat. Elavenil has one more year in the junior circuit (U-21), but there are no junior events scheduled this year.

Elavenil shot 251.7 in the 8-woman final. Elavenil's consistency was clearly seen through the scores she hit in the 24-shot final. In the 24 shots, Elavenil's lowest score was a lone 9.6, while all her other shots ranged between 10.2 and 10.8.

She defeated Great Britain's Seonaid McIntosh, who scored 250.6 and finished with silver. Bronze went to Ling with a total of 229.9.

Anjum had to pay the price of hitting 9.9, 10 and 10 in her 8th, 9th and 10th shots respectively. She finished sixth with a total score of 166.8.

Earlier, Elavenil was the top Indian in the qualification round too. In the qualification, she shot series of 105.8, 106.0, 105.4, 103.4, 103.9 and 104.9 to total 629.4 and qualify fourth, ahead of fifth-placed Anjum (629.1). Third Indian in the fray, Apurvi Chandela missed her first World Cup final this year (out of four) as she finished 11th with a score of 627.7.

There were two Tokyo Games quota places were on offer, but since Anjum and Apurvi have already won two places, India were not eligible to win any more quota in this event.

"I was nervous before the match. I was shooting at the range where Olympic medals were decided three years ago. But I calmed myself down and it worked," Elavenil told TOI.

"Also, this medal is special as I won on a day when my academy Gun For Glory is getting the national award, so it was a cherry on the cake," she added. Gagan Narang's academy has been conferred with the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar.

Elavenil had won three gold at the junior World Cups in 2018 and 2019.

Gold for Elavenil; Rajput wins Tokyo quota

August 30, 2019: The Times of India

WC gold for Elavenil; Rajput wins Tokyo quota

Rio de Janeiro:

Elavenil Valarivan couldn’t have asked for a better colour to open her senior account as she won the 10m air rifle gold at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

In the men’s rifle event, veteran shooter Sanjeev Rajput clinched silver and a quota place for the 2020 Tokyo Games in the 50m rifle 3 position event.

Earlier, Elavenil, who turned 20 last month, shot a brilliant final to pip her teammate Anjum Moudgil and World Cup gold medallist Ying-Shin Ling of Chinese Taipei for the first position. With this medal, Elavenil also became the only third Indian to have won gold in women’s 10m air rifle event at the World Cup series. Anjali Bhagwat and Apurvi Chandela achieved the feat earlier.

Elavenil shot 251.7 in the 8-woman final. Elavenil’s consistency could be seen in the scores she hit in the 24-shot final. In the final, her lowest score was a lone 9.6, while all her other shots ranged between 10.2 and 10.8. She defeated Great Britain’s Seonaid McIntosh, who scored 250.6 and finished with silver. Bronze went to Ling with a total of 229.9. TNN

Abhishek wins gold, Saurabh bronze

Tushar Dutt, August 31, 2019: The Times of India

Success is contagious for Abhishek Verma. The lawyerturned-shooter, who made his international debut at the age of 30, added another feather to his cap as he clinched gold in men’s 10m air pistol event at ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday night. The Haryana shooter scored 244.2 in the 8-man final for top position. Saurabh Chaudhary won bronze with 221.9, while Turkey’s Ismail Keles took silver with 243.1.

The Indian duo has completely dominated the world stage in the 10m air pistol this year, with either Abhishek or Saurabh winning the gold in the four-edition World Cup series this year.

While Abhishek won gold in the second (Beijing) and fourth (Rio) editions, Saurabh took gold in the first (Delhi) and third (Munich) stages. This is a first for Indian shooting in a particular event in a cycle.

And it isn’t just the medals the duo is sharing. They also share the room, train and eat together. They have also won the Tokyo 2020 quotas already. “It feels good to win World Cup medals with Saurabh. I think we learn a lot from each other’s experiences. It is helping both of us on the big stage,” Abhishek told TOI from Rio.

An engineer (computer science) who later chose law as profession, Abhishek said winning is contagious. “I feel good when he (Saurabh) wins a medal, but at the same time I also motivates me to go for gold. I am sure he feels the same way.”

Abhishek revealed that the two have many things in common, which helps them bond better. “Temperament wise, we both are similar. He doesn’t speak much and I am also not very social. Since we stay in the same room during the camps, we start our day early and train together,” Abhishek said.

Both are vegetarians, hence they also share the struggle of finding their kind of food when they are out of India. “We both rely on plain rice for lunch and bread and salad for dinner. We are used to eating less during the international tournaments and this has become part of our training regime,” the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist revealed.

The two also throw challenges at each other while training, which helps them during the matches. “During our practice sessions, we throw impromptu challenges by giving a certain target to each other. Like I ask him to shoot a 10.8, he also gives me some target. This makes our training interesting and we also improve in handling the pressure better,” he said. They also discuss their mistakes after each match. “Saurabh hit a few low shots during the final and before the podium ceremony, we were discussing it. This helps us stay focussed,” Abhishek said.

Yashaswini wins gold, India books all 10m air pistol spots at Olympics

Tushar Dutt. September 2, 2019: The Times of India

Yashaswini Deswal announced her arrival on the senior stage by winning the gold in the women’s 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. In the process, Yashaswini, 22, also clinched a Tokyo Olympics berth for the country.

Yashaswini upstaged the Olympics and world champion from Ukraine, Olena Kostevych to win the honours. Yashaswini’s feat is commendable since six of the eight finalists were eligible to win two quota places that were on offer. Yashaswini’s is India’s 9th quota for the 2020 Games.

The shooter, who missed out on a medal by finishing fourth at the Guadalajara World Cup last year, shot with immense control, both in the qualification and final. She entered the final as topper in the qualifying round with her personal-best score of 582. In the low-scoring final, Yashaswini shot 236.7 and kept Olena (234.8) at bay by 1.9 points for gold. Serbia’s Jasmina Milovanovic won bronze with 215.7 along with the second quota available. “I am overwhelmed. The feeling is yet to sink,” Yashaswini told TOI after her stupendous effort.

The shooter, who had participated in the Beijing and Munich editions of the World Cup series earlier this year, was finally able to convert her good starts into a perfect finish. “Nothing has changed in my training,” the Panchkula girl said, crediting meditation for her success. Shot visualisation is a technique many shooters follow to train their minds. It is like rehearsing the shot in the mind, right from taking position to calibrating the target and pulling the trigger.

Her coach, Tejinder Singh Dhillon said that controlling thoughts was the key for Yashaswini on Saturday. “Technically, she is very strong, but she used to think and worry too much during an event. In shooting, you lose the plot if you start worrying about yours or your opponents’ scores.”

With Yashaswini’s medal, India has booked all four spots in the 10m air pistol event for the Tokyo Games, which is a first for Indian shooting. Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma locked two berths in the men’s section. Manu Bhaker and Yashaswini’s quotas in the women’s section will help India field two mixed-gender teams at the Games, giving the nation two extra shots at Olympic medals with the same number of quota places. 

Apurvi-Deepak shoot mixed gold

Sep 3, 2019: The Times of India

World number one in women’s 10M Air Rifle, Apurvi Chandela, partnered Deepak Kumar to win India their fourth gold medal on the concluding day of the ISSF World Cup here on Monday. The result ensured an unprecedented top finish for the country across all four ISSF World Cup stages this year including the lone ISSF junior world cup.

Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar representing India 2, who won the previous two World Cup editions of the same event, provided the icing on the cake with a bronze, as India continued to reach never before seen heights in Rifle and Pistol shooting. Apurvi and Deepak blew away the Chinese pair of Yang Qian and Yu Haonan 16-6 in a one-sided final. India won eight of the 11 single-shot duels between the teams, where the combined score of one pair is compared to that of the other and the higher total awarded two points. The first to 16 points will win. PTI

3 historic golds:  Manu, Elavenil, Divyansh

Tushar Dutt, Nov 22, 2019: The Times of India

One day, four events, three gold medals. History was made on Thursday as Indian shooters dominated the third day of the ISSF World Cup Finals in Putian, China.

Manu Bhaker won the gold in 10m air pistol event, wwhile Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar won gold in women’s and men’s 10m air rifle events respectively. A gold medal at the World Cup Finals is significant as toppers of the four World Cups and having high world rankings get invites to participate in the Finals. This year, the event is more prestigious as most of the participants have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The only jarring note for India came when Abhishek Verma and Saurabh Chaudhary finished 5th and 6th respectively in men’s 10m air pistol event. Both the shooters have qualified for Tokyo and had won two gold each in the four World Cups this year. Manu became only second Indian pistol shooter to win gold in 10m air pistol after Heena Sidhu’s gold in 2013.

Manu, who missed the 25m pistol final on Wednesday by finishing 10th, admitted she was nervous throughout the 10m final on Thursday. But the Haryana shooter focused on one shot at a time to win her maiden year-ender medal. Manu, 17, had shot 583 in the qualification round, same as Germany’s Doreen Vennekamp and Australian Elena Galiabovitch. However, Doreen qualified for the final as eighth shooter as she had more number of inner 10s (23) compared to Elena (17) and Manu (17).

ISSF Junior World Cup

Day 1: India win two shooting gold

Udhayveer Sidhu collected a double gold as India took pole position on day one of competitions at the Combined World Cup for junior shooters in Suhl, Germany. Udhayveer shot 575 in the junior men’s 25m standard pistol event to lead a clean sweep for India as Adarsh Singh (568) and Anish Bhanwala (566) won silver and bronze respectively. PTI

Third shooting gold for Vijayveer

Vijayveer Sidhu picked up his third gold medal of the ongoing ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany, combining with Rajkanwar Singh Sandhu and Adarsh Singh to clinch the men’s 25m pistol event on Tuesday. For Adarsh, it was his second gold of the competition. India maintained its top spot at the medal standings after day three with seven gold in a total of 16 medals won so far.

Day 2: India win six medals

July 15, 2019: The Times of India

India win six medals

New Delhi:

India bagged six medals, including two gold, to remain on top of the medal standings after Day 2 of the ISSF Junior World Cup Rifle/Pistol/ Shotgun in Suhl, Germany. India shooters have accounted for four gold, five silver and two bronze for a total of 11 medals so far in the competition.

In men’s 50m pistol event, India’s Gaurav Rana and Arjun Singh Cheema finished first and second. While Rana scored 553 after 60 shots, Cheema settled for the second spot with 551.

The duo also combined with Vijayveer Sidhu (547) to pick up the team gold in the event with a total of 1651, a clear 41 points, ahead of the silver-winning Belarussian team. PTI

Day 3: Elavenil wins junior WC gold

July 16, 2019: The Times of India

Young shooter Elavenil Valarivan signed off her junior career (U-21) on a high as the Indian defended her title at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl.

Elavenil, who had won gold at the same championships last year, shot 251.6 in the final to win gold. She defeated her compatriot Mehuli Ghosh for silver. Mehuli finished with 250.2, while France’s Marianne Muller scored 228 for bronze.

Elavenil is a student of Gagan Narang’s Gun For Glory academy, while Mehuli trains under Joydeep Karmakar. Elavenil, who will turn 20 next month, was participating in her last Junior World Cup, as she will not be eligible to shoot in the event next year.

The Indian trio of Elavenil, Mehuli and Shreya Agarwal secured team gold with a new junior team World Record with a total score of 1883.3. The earlier record too belonged to the Indian trio of Elavenil, Shreya and Manini Kaushik (1880.7) scored in the World Championships last year.

With a score of 627.5, Elavenil was the last shooter to qualify for the 8-woman final. TNN

Day 4: Esha: Jr WC silver; Bhanwala: gold

Tushar Dutt, July 18, 2019: The Times of India

Pune: Esha Singh, who became India’s youngest national champion at the age of 14 last year, clinched her maiden international medal as she took silver in women’s 10m air pistol event at the ISSF Junior (U-21) World Cup in Suhl, Germany. Esha has perhaps become the youngest Indian shooter to win a World Cup medal.

The Telangana shooter had shocked Heena Sidhu and Manu Bhaker to win the National championships last year. On Wednesday, she shot 236.6 to finish second behind Sevval Ilayda Tarhan, the junior world champion from Turkey. The Turkish shooter finished with 241.8. The bronze went to another Turkish shooter, Beyza Yilmaz, who scored 215.4 points. This was the talented girl’s first ISSF medal after being crowned national champion.

Esha, who studies in Bolton School in Secunderabad, got hooked to shooting at the age of eight when she met her father Sachin Singh’s friend Gautam Gianthandani, national medallist in trap shooting at the Gachibowli sports complex in Hyderabad. Her father is a wellknown rally driver. In the men’s 25m rapid fire event, Anish Bhanwala broke his medal-less run by clinching the gold medal.

Bhanwala, who failed to win in the three editions of the senior World Cup this year, shot 29 in the junior final in Suhl to top the podium. He had qualified by shooting a high score of 584 to top the charts and lead a three-man Indian contingent into the sixman final. In the final, Anish led from the front never shooting below three hits out of five in each of the 10 series of shots. He finished with a four and a score of 29, to easily leave behind Russian Egor Ismakov, who shot 23 for silver.

Other Indians, Adarsh Singh and Agneya Kaushik, finished fourth and sixth respectively in the final. India won two more medals on the day in the 10m air rifle mixed team junior. The pair of Shreya Agrawal and Yash Vardhan won the silver medal, finishing behind the Iranian pair of A Sadeghian and A Zolfagharia 11-17 in the final. Mehuli Ghosh and Hriday Hazarika won the bronze in the event.

Day 5: Sarabjot wins gold on debut

Tushar Dutt, July 19, 2019: The Times of India

Sarabjot Singh is so new on the international circuit that even the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) doesn’t have his photograph. But that didn’t stop Sarabjot, 18, from making his maiden World Cup appearance special.

The Haryana shooter won the 10m air pistol gold at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany, on Thursday. In the final, Sarabjot defeated China’s former World champion and last year’s World Cup gold medallist Wang Zhehao by 1.9 points. The Indian shot 239.6 in the 24-shot final, while the Chinese could shoot 237.7 to settle for silver. The bronze too went to China as Shichang Lu shot 217. Sarabjot made it to the final after shooting 575 in the qualification round. He made his international debut in March this year and had won gold at the Asian Airgun junior championships in Taoyuan, Taiwan.

“I was shooting well, but a few 8s in between the final put me under pressure. I then thought of rebooting myself and it helped. I then shot well to take a lead of around two points till the last shot,” Sarabjot told TOI after the final. This was Sarabjot’s second international medal and on both occasions he won gold after making some sacrifices. “When I went for the Asian meet, I had asked the Haryana state education board to postpone my standard 12th exams. My application was accepted. Now I have come here for the World Cup and back home, admissions for first year graduation have started. I will see where I get admission once I go back. But that is secondary for me, I am happy that I have won gold today,” Sarabjot said.

Son of a farmer, Sarabjot took up shooting in 2016 after attending a summer camp in his school in Dheen village of Ambala district. After the camp he joined former shooter Abhishek Rana’s academy in Ambala city.

The teenager travels two hours every day to train in Ambala for training.

Sajjan Singh Masters

Anjum shoots above world record mark

Pratyush Raj, July 30, 2019: The Times of India

World Championship silver medallist Anjum Moudgil continued to assert herself in air rifle, shooting well above the world record (finals) to win the women's 10m air rifle gold on Day One of the Sardar Sajjan Singh Sethi Memorial Masters shooting competition at the Dr Karni Singh Range in New Delhi.

World number eight Anjum, who has already secured a Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota in the event, shot 253.9 in the finals, a full point ahead of India teammate and world number one Apurvi Chandela’s mark of 252.9, set at the New Delhi World Cup stage earlier this year.

Silver medallist Mehuli Ghosh of West Bengal missed Apurvi's mark in the women's final by 0.7 but made sure to go past it in the junior women's final, which she won with a score of 253.

Elavenil Valarivan won silver in junior section with a score of 252.4.

Elizabeth wins gold at Masters shooting

New Delhi:

Kerala's Elizabeth Susan Koshy won the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions gold on day three of the XII Sardar Sajjan Singh Sethi Memorial Masters shooting competition at Dr Karni Singh range. Elizabeth held her nerve to win the title with a finals score of 460.1. Tejaswini Sawant won the silver for Maharashtra with 455.6 while Hema K C of Gujarat won the bronze with 444.5.

Shotgun Nationals

Manavjit wins 12th National title; gold for Manavaditya

Nov 23, 2019: The Times of India

Former world champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu of Punjab won his 12th men’s trap gold medal at the Shotgun Nationals while Rajasthan’s Manavaditya Singh Rathore claimed his first in the junior section. Needing a high final round to remain in contention for the title, Manavjit missed one target for a round of 24, which put him in a shoot-off with seven other contenders for five final qualifying spots.

Kynan Chenai of Telengana, who eventually won bronze, was the only one to qualify directly, topping the qualification field with a score of 121 out of 125.

Manavjit then shot 42 out of 50 targets in the final, to outgun state-mate Vishavdev Singh Sidhu, who ended with 41. Kynan was eliminated earlier in third place with 32 hits out of the first 40 targets.

Both Manavjit and Manavaditya also won the respective team titles in their categories to bag double gold medals on the day. Manavjit teamed up with Jungsher and Namanveer Singh Brar for a total of 358. Manavaditya, Vivaan and Aman Ali Elahi clinched the junior men’s team title. PTI

World Police Games: Anjum wins five gold

Pratyush Raj, August 15, 2019: The Times of India

Anjum Moudgil is in peak form and the one to beat. The Punjab shooter gave further proof of her credentials as she pocketed five gold medals, and a silver, at the World Police Games in Chengdu, China.

The 25-year old, who is a sub-inspector in the Punjab Police, bagged two individual gold medals in the rifle prone event and air rifle event, while she had to settle for silver in rifle 3-position event. In the team event, Anjum won gold in rifle prone, air rifle and rifle 3-position events.

Speaking to TOI after the event, the Chandigarh girl said, “It was a good outing for me before the Rio World Cup in Brazil, which will start from August 18. I think I am shooting well and I want to keep this momentum in the upcoming tournaments.”

Anjum won a silver in the World Championship and has already secured a Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota. When asked if winning an Olympic quota early had eased the pressure on her, Anjum replied “As a matter of fact, it did. I think I would consider it good for me that I won a quota as soon as possible. But it's not that I am only playing for medals now or I don't have anything else to work on. I am working on how I can improve.”


Mar: India rises to no. 10 in world

Tushar Dutt, March 31, 2021: The Times of India

The recently concluded ISSF World Cup in Delhi has boosted the morale of Indian shooters ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. It has also lifted India’s position in the overall ranking of medallist countries since the event began in 1986.

With 30 medals (15 gold, 9 silver 6 bronze) won in Delhi last week, India has taken its overall World Cup medals to 127 (50G, 39S, 38B) from 75 in just two years. India has also jumped to the 10th position — from somewhere in the 30s — in just two seasons.

China tops the tally with 835 medals (317 G, 286 S and 232 B), while the USA is second with 563 medals (199 G, 181 S, 183 B) India has won a total of 52 medals (31G, 13S, 8B) since 2019, out of which 20 (13, 3, 4) have come from the mixed team events, the most by any country. China is second with 16 medals in mixed events (5, 7, 4).

“The mixed-team events have been the real gamechanger for us. I remember there was such a hue and cry when the ISSF was contemplating to remove 50m rifle prone, 50m pistol and double trap events to include the mixed-team events. But you see how well we have done in these events,” the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh told TOI.

“But that is what the ISSF has done. There are many things that we have done in the past few years that has worked for us. One of them is trusting our own coaches and relying less on foreign counterparts. We got our former shooters into the system. They worked closely with the young shooters and extracted much more than what a foreign coach would have done,” Raninder said. After a poor show at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, the NRAI started focusing on its junior programme and at the grassroot talent. The federation also allowed junior shooters to shoot in senior teams, if they qualified.

The radical change in policy saw the emergence of shooters like Saurabh Chaudhary, Manu Bhaker, Anish Bhanwala, Esha Singh and Elavenil Valarivan to name a few.

India will send an impressive contingent of 15 shooters, the highest-ever, at the Tokyo Games and will be one of the strongest contingents in the discipline there.

Asian Online Championship

India top medals tally at Asian Online Shooting Championship: India’s 24-member shooting contingent produced a remarkable performance to top the medals tally at the first Asian Online Shooting Championship, organised and hosted by the Kuwait Shooting Federation. Indian team won four out of the eight gold medals on offer along with two silver and five bronze medals for a total haul of 11 medals. The two-day competition — held between January 29-30 — saw 274 shooters from 22 Asian countries taking part. AGENCIES

ISSF Shotgun World Cup: Skeet bronze medal

February 28, 2021: The Times of India

Indian men’s skeet team wins bronze


The Indian trio of Mairaj Ahmed Khan, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Gurjoat Khangura won the bronze medal in men’s skeet team event at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup here. The Indians beat the Kazakhstan team of David Pochivalov, Eduard Yechshenko and Alexandr Mukhamediyev 6-2 in the bronze medal match on the third competition day of the International Shooting Sport Federation tournament.

The trio reached the bronze medal match when they combined to shoot a score of 491 after the qualification stage comprising seven rounds of 25 shots each.

They could have made it to the finals too, but lost a shootoff to the Russians 6-5.

Bajwa was the star of the bronze medal match, hitting all his 16 targets.

Russia won the gold medal, beating the Czech Republic 6-0 in the finals. PTI

Gorsa’s Zagreb camp for Indians

Tushar Dutt , May 13, 2021: The Times of India

When the then World No. 1 rifle shooter Petar Gorsa came to India in March this year, the country was no more than just a World Cup venue for him. But when he left the Captial after almost a month, the country became a special place for the Croatian shooter, thanks to the Indian belief of Atitihi Devo Bhav(A guest should be treated like God).

Gorsa was tested positive on arrival and couldn’t participate in the World Cup. During this frustrating time, the Croatian got care from the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) in terms of getting hospitalization and medication. But what touched him the most was the NRAI president Raninder Singh’s gesture. The latter hosted the shooter at his own home in Delhi.

Now back home, the two-time World Cup gold medallist has been treating Indians like MVPs. He has returned the favour by helping them train in Zagreb for two months just before the Olympics. Given the Covid situation, conducting a camp in Delhi looked near impossible.

“I remembered my own situation from my days in Delhi when I was Covid positive. I was very sentimental about the situation,” Gorsa told TOI from Zagreb on Wednesday. “During my isolation period, the NRAI president hosted me at his own home. This is very sacred to me. I will never forget this my whole life. Ronjan (Singh Sodhi) and Mr Raninder made my stay in Delhi so comfortable that I brought home only the best memories. Now, I am very happy that I am in a position to pay them back. When I came to know about their plan to train here, it wasn’t a question whether I should help. It was about how to do it,” Gorsa added. It has been a busy week for ‘sleep-deprived’ Gorsa. From getting the Indians’ paperwork done to get permissions from the ministries, to booking the hotels and finding Indian restaurants in Zagreb, Gorsa has been on his toes to make sure the visitors have the best of everything during their stay in the Croatian capital. In between all this, Gorsa and his wife also welcomed a baby boy on Tuesday the day the Indian team departed for Zagreb.

It all happened in a quick time. Last week, Gorsa happened to chat with 2012 London Games participant double trapper Ronjan Singh Sodhi, who asked the Croatian to get in touch with the NRAI president. “I spoke with the NRAI chief and he told me about NRAI’s plan to conduct the camp in Zagreb. Even while speaking to him, I was thinking about the ways to get this done,” Gorsa said. The shooter immediately contacted the Zagreb Shooting Association vice president Antun Sudar and secretary Visnjica Kvesic. The same day they contacted the ministries of sports, police, defence and foreign affairs, along with getting in touch with the Croatian Olympic Committee and obtained the necessary permissions. “Had it been needed, we were ready to even contact the Prime Minister,” Gorsa said.

His own preparation for the European Games, World Cup and the Tokyo Games has been put on hold due to his commitment for the Indians. However, he says the satisfaction of helping his ‘friends’ will give him peace. “Once I am done with the sport, I don’t want to be remembered for my medals. I want to be remembered as a responsible and honourable man. There is still time and I can get back to my training,” said the two-time World Cup gold medallist.

ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, India

Young shooter Manisha Keer, daughter of a fisherman in Bhopal, powered India to a silver at the World Cup in Cairo Manisha, Kirti Gupta and Rajeshwari Kumari made up the India trap team at the year’s first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Shotgun stage in Cairo. Manisha had the highest individual score among trio

The trap trio put up a tough fight against Russia, blasting away to a fantastic comeback — from 0-4 down to tie the final at 4-4. However, they could not keep up the momentum in the final 15-shots-per-team shootout and had to be content with second-best. Manisha got the highest score — 158 out of 175. Rajeshwari and Kirti scored 143 each, taking India’s score to 444. The Russian team scored 463 and hosts Egypt got bronze with 405 points.

Their effort ensured that the Indian squad finished the World Cup with two medals, with the men’s Skeet team bagging a bronze medal earlier on in the tournament. Earlier in the Trap Mixed Team competition, Manisha and Kynan Chenai representing the second Indian team in the competition, shot a total of 133 to finish in ninth place out of 14 teams.

India’s highest-ever medal tally in WC

Sabi Hussain, March 29, 2021: The Times of India

ISSF Shooting World Cup (Delhi), 2021
From: Sabi Hussain, March 29, 2021: The Times of India

India end with highest-ever medal tally in Shooting World Cup

NEW DELHI: India finished their shooting World Cup campaign with a golden finish in the trap team events on the concluding day of competitions on Sunday as the hosts recorded their most successful outing in a single edition of the WC stage by cornering 30 medals, including 15 gold.

India has been ruling the medals chart at the shooting World Cups since the New Delhi edition in February 2019 and this was the country’s sixth successive No. 1 finish at the ISSF championships in the rifle/pistol events – New Delhi, Beijing, Munich, Rio de Janeiro (World Cups), Putian, China (World Cup Final) in 2019 and at the combined WC stage here in 2021.

However, it’s also a fact that India’s overall tally in this edition was largely swelled by the host shooters’ medal-winning performances in nonOlympic competitions in the team and mixed-gender events.

Overall, India’s medal count stood at 15 gold, nine silver and six bronze. USA and Italy finished miles behind, with a total of eight and four medals, respectively.

On Sunday, Shreyasi Singh, Manisha Keer and Rajeshwari Kumari combined to shoot India’s first gold of the day when they defeated Kazakhstan 6-0 in the final of the women’s trap team competition. They won the first series of five-shot each 12-11, the second 11-8 and the third by a margin of 12-9 to outclass the Kazakhs.

Later, the trio of Kynan Chenai, Prithviraj Tondaiman and Lakshay Sheoran beat the Slovakians 6-4 in a hard-fought final to clinch the second gold of the day in the men’s trap team.

Earlier, India had won a silver with the trio of Gurpreet Singh, Vijayveer Sidhu and Adarsh Singh going down 2-10 against the Team USA in the final of the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol team event.

Speaking about the country’s campaign in the trap shooting and her own individual performance, Gold Coast CWG gold winner Shreyasi, who is also an MLA from Bihar’s Jamui district, told TOI: “I think because of my hectic schedule (juggling between campaigning for Bihar elections and preparing for the WC), my training definitely took a toll. I have also been slightly unlucky when it came to the mixed team event final (with Kynan Chenai). I felt we were a bit unlucky finishing fourth. But I believe the trap team is still very young and we are growing together. Shotgun has suffered because of lack of foreign coach and technical support staff for a very long time. I am looking forward to the CWG and Asian Games next year. It’s my dream to win an Asiad gold in trap for the country.”

ISSF World Cup in Osijek, Croatia

Opening day

Tushar Dutt, June 26, 2021: The Times of India

Saurabh Chaudhary finished with a bronze medal in the men’s 10m air pistol event on the opening day of the ISSF World Cup in Osijek, Croatia. Saurabh scored 220 in the final, while another Indian, Abhishek Verma, finished fifth with a score of 179.3.

Saurabh started well and was leading till the first five shots. However, he started losing the grip over the lead and a couple of 8s and 9s dented his chances for the gold, even slipping to the 5th position. However, he recovered and shot better to finish third.

In women’s 10m air pistol, Manu Bhaker (137.3) finished 7th, while Yashaswini Deswal (117.1) was last in the eightshooter final. Earlier, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, who will represent India in the 50m rifle 3position event, was the only Indian in the men’s 10m air rifle final. Divyansh Panwar (624.7) and Deepak Kumar (626) finished 25th and 14th respectively in the 10m air rifle event.

In the women’s 10m air rifle, Apurvi Chandela finished 24th with a score of 624.2, while Elavenil Valarivan finished 55th after taking a two-point penalty. Elavenil shot 8.1 in her 55th shot, but the Indian registered a protest for wrong score registration. However, the jury found no problem with the score and quashed the protest with a two-point penalty, taking Elavenil from 35th to 55th.

Day 2: Rahi clinches World Cup gold in elite field

Tushar Dutt, June 29, 2021: The Times of India

With less than a month to go for the Tokyo Olympics, Rahi Sarnobat, 30, gave a glimpse of her preparation by clinching gold in the women’s 25m pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Osijek, Croatia.

The Kolhapur shooter, who will be representing the country in the same event at Tokyo, shot 39 in the final to seal the first place. She was just a point away to equal the world record and two from breaking it. The silver went to France’s Euro champion Mathilde Lamolle (31 points), while Russia’s Vitalina Batsarashkina shot 28 to clinch the bronze. Another Indian in fray, Manu Bhaker, 19, finished seventh after getting eliminated second in the eightwoman final. She shot 11 points.

To give perspective to her win, Rahi defeated reigning Olympic champion Anna Korakaki of Greece (finished 5th), Rio silver medallist Monika Karsch of Germany (20th) and bronze medallist Heidi Gerber of Switzerland (32nd).

Ranked No. 2 in the world, Rahi was top seed in the event.

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