Indian shooter Deepak Kumar, on Tuesday, celebrated his birthday by booking a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after claiming the bronze medal at the 14th Asian Championship, the final Olympic Qualification Tournament, being held in Doha.
Competing in Men’s 10m Air Rifle, Deepak qualified for the final after finishing third in the qualification round with a score of 626.8. In the final, with three Chinese shooters in the running, all the 32-year-old Indian had to do was ensure that he earned one of the three quotas up for grabs for the five contestants (other than the Chinese).
Deepak made no mistake as he fought off stiff challenge from his opponents to bag the bronze medal with a score of 227.8. Liu Yukun and Yu Haonan of China finished on first and second place with scores of 250.5 and 249.1 respectively.
This is India’s 10th quota in shooting at the 2020 Olympic Games. The others who have already made it are — Anjum Moudgil, Apurvi Chandela, Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Sanjeev Rajput, Rahi Sarnobat, Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal. The only countries who have secured more Olympic quotas in shooting are China (25 quotas) and Korea (12) in the Asian region, besides the host-country Japan (12 allotted slots).
By securing the elusive second 10m Air Rifle Quota, Deepak also confirmed two teams for mixed Air Rifle event. In 2019, he has bagged a silver at the Munich World Cup and a gold at the Rio World Cup in the mixed Air Rifle events teaming up with Apurvi Chandela.