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Not the Olympics | Day 4: A possible gold rush for Indian shooters

Not the Olympics | Day 4: A possible gold rush for Indian shooters

Md Imtiaz

Published: 27 July 2020 7:59 AM GMT

Four months after the International Olympic Committee and officials in Japan postponed the Games amid soaring coronavirus infection rates and lockdowns across the world, uncertainty prevails. The unpredictable nature of the virus is making it impossible for officials to say definitively that the Games will happen or, if they do, what they might look like. Though we are missing the fervour of the quadrennial event, we are soaked in the Olympic spirit. For the next two weeks, we will be writing a series of article with the title “What if Olympic Happened”, where we will hypothetically discuss the day-wise performances of the Indian athletes, which were actually scheduled in the Olympics 2020 roster.

Day 4: 27 July 2020

Today would have been the fourth day at the Olympics, where Indians would have taken part in just two medal events (if they could make it into the final rounds).


With as many as 15 Indian shooters having secured quota places, India is all set to send its largest-ever shooting contingent to Tokyo. On the fourth day of the Games, two shooting events were scheduled for India - Mixed 10m pistol and Mixed 10m rifle.

In the pistol event, Indian shooting pairs of Abhishek Verma/Yashaswini Deswal and Saurabh Chaudhary/Manu Bhaker would have participated.

Abhishek Verma Abhishek Verma

Abhishek Verma had a terrific run in his career in the last couple of years. He boasts of two World Cup golds, an Asian Games bronze, a quota place at the Tokyo Olympics and according to ISSF, is the second-best 10m air pistol shooter in the world. Deswal, secured an Olympic quota in shooting, upstaging the women’s 10m air pistol’s numero uno shooter Olena Kostevych of Ukraine for gold in the ISSF World Cup, Rio De Janeiro. Her perseverance of getting tough at equally tough moments is commendable, which makes her medal prospect at the Olympics.

Saurabh Chaudhury has emerged to be the one of the most promising shooters of the country. Talking about Saurabh Chaudhury’s performance, he is been deemed by many as India’s favourite among the medal prospect at Tokyo 2020. And now he is the no. 1 shooter in 10M Air Pistol Men’s category with a rating of 3044. In 2018, Saurabh became the youngest Indian shooter to win a gold medal at the Asian Games. He continued his gold medal streak at the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Argentina, alongside two more gold at the Asian Airgun Championship in the team and mixed team competitions. In 2019, Saurabh won the individual gold medal at ISSF World Cup in Delhi, a mixed team gold medal with Manu Bhaker at the Beijing World Cup. His biggest feat last year came in May where he won another gold and broke the world and junior records in 10m pistol at the Munich World Cup.

Manu Bhaker Saurabh Chaudhary Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary (Image source: Facebook / Manu Bhaker)

Bhaker, who secured an Olympic quota for India, enjoyed a successful season last year when she won five World Cup gold medals in individual and team events. World no. 2 in her category, Manu has thrived under pressure showed the world how competitive she could be since winning a podium finish at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.

Chaudhury and Bhaker bagged all the four World Cup gold medals in 2019. So having them in the team fuels the chance of winning a medal at the Olympics.

In the air rifle event, the possible pairs would have been Apurvi Chandela/Deepak Kumar and Anjum Moudgil/Divyansh Singh Panwar.

Apurvi who won two gold medals at the 2019 ISSF World Cups holds a world ranking of 5. Deepak Kumar had won a bronze medal in November last year in the 10m men’s Air Rifle event at the 14th Asian Shooting Championships held in Doha. The 2018 Asian Games silver medallist had a setback when he posted some below-average scores and finish 34th (Delhi WC) and 57th (Beijing WC). The Tokyo Olympics could have provided him this year, an opportunity to shine at the big stage.

Apurvi Chandela Apurvi Chandela

Anjum was one of the first Indians to win an Olympic quota through a silver medal at the 2018 ISSF World Championships. She won gold medals in 10m Air Rifle mixed team at the ISSF World Cup in Munich and Beijing last year. Apart from being a world no. 1 in the Women’s 50m 3 Positions rankings last year, Anjum Moudgil also sat second in the women’s 10m Air Rifle rankings. World no. 1 shooter in 10-metre air rifle, Divyansh has showcased his mettle to attain the spot at such a young age. Before the lockdown, he had dominated the European circuit, preparing for the season by winning six gold medals from seven competitions spread over three countries. In 2019, he claimed silver at the Beijing World Cup along with India’s fourth Tokyo quota spot. Paired with Anjum Moudgil in the mixed team event at the World Cups, he won gold in Beijing, in Munich and bronze in Rio de Janeiro.

Graphical representation Graphical representation

Chances of winning medals: 99%

Other events on day 4 and possible contenders:

Table Tennis

Men Singles RD3/RD4: Sharath Kamal ,Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

Women Singles RD3/RD4: Manika Batra


Men pool A: India vs Spain


Men Individual RD 64/RD32: Atanu Das, Taundeep Rai, Pravin Jadhav

Women Individual RD 64/RD32: Deepika Kumari /Bombayala Devi/Komalika Bari


Men Singles Group play: Sai Praneeth

Women Singles Group play: PV Sindhu

Men Doubles Group play: Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty


Women's Welter (64-69kg) RD 16: Lovlina Borgohain

Men's Light (57-63kg) RD 32: Manish Kaushik


Women Doubles RD2/QF: Sania Mirza/Ankita Raina

Also read: Not the Olympics | Day 2: Shooters carry high hopes of medals

Also read: Not the Olympics | Day 3: Bhavani Devi’s participation would be a milestone

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