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Shooting

A decade after Olympic silver, shooter Vijay Kumar returns to Indian team for Worlds

Vijay Kumar will be competing in his biggest tournament since the London Games podium as he was picked in the Indian squad for the upcoming ISSF World Championships.

Olympic silver medallist shooter Vijay Kumar (Source: Getty)
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Olympic silver medallist shooter Vijay Kumar (Source: Getty)

By

PTI

Updated: 2022-09-03T13:45:02+05:30

Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar will be competing in his biggest tournament since the London Games podium as he was on Friday picked in the Indian squad for the upcoming ISSF World Championships. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) announced a 48-member Indian rifle and pistol squad for the tournament scheduled from October 12-25 in Cairo, Egypt.

Four years after his last international tournament, the London Olympics silver medallist pistol shooter had returned to the national squad in April this year. Kumar, who finished second in 25m rapid fire pistol in the 2012 Olympics, had taken a break due to a chronic shoulder injury.

Posted at the Himachal Pradesh police headquarters (PHQ) in Shimla as a deputy superintendent of police, Vijay had made a comeback to competitive shooting last year after a gap of five years, "starting from zero", nearly a decade after crowning himself in glory by winning the silver in London.

A five-time Commonwealth Gold medallist, Vijay had left the Army to join Himachal Pradesh Police in 2017. A 24-member shotgun squad was already announced earlier for the Shotgun World Championships beginning in Osijek, Croatia, from September 19.

The current team is full of World Championship first-timers with Olympic silver medallist Vijay and silver medallist from the previous World Championships, Anjum Moudgil, bringing in the experience.

The experienced campaigners in the squad include the likes of Olympians Manu Bhaker, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Elavenil Valarivan, besides Divyansh Singh Panwar, who has qualified in the junior section.

Shiva Narwal, who will be leading the Indian trio in the men's 10m air pistol, is not yet 17 and will be in his first Worlds. Others like Swapnil Suresh Kusale, who is among the country's top rifle shooting exponents, particularly in small-bore, will also be featuring in his first World Championships.

Swapnil was in form at the Baku ISSF World Cup stage earlier this year, where he won a first individual world cup stage gold, a silver in men's 3P as well as a mixed 3P gold. Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar on the other hand will also be competing in his first Worlds and his rise in men's rifle 3 positions in the last couple of years has been nothing short of phenomenal.

The ISSF World Championships is the pinnacle of the sport.

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