Indian para shooters, including two women, have booked an unprecedented 10 quota places for the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24.
The shooters were picked during a selection committee meeting on Thursday here. "This is the first time that 10 shooters have been able to achieve the required benchmark for the qualification. Till the Tokyo Paralympics, only one quota of shooter could be achieved but this time shooters grabbed 10 quotas," a release from the Paralympic Committee of India said.
"Scores of Para Shooters from May 2018 to 5th July 2021 in International competitions, National Championship and Selection trials were taken for consideration."
Reacting to the selection of the para shooters, Paralympic Committee of India president, Deepa Malik said: "Rubina Francis has qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics with a world record while Avani Lekhara has qualified for all four wheelchair shooting events which is great achievement." It is a great achievement and a result of hardwork of the coaches and the shooters," added the 50-year-old, who had claimed a silver medal at the 2016 Paralympics in shot put.
National para-shooting coach, Subhash Rana said it was tough to keep the shooters motivated amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "Contribution of JP Nautiyal our head coach is enormous.
It was tough during the period of Covid to keep the spirit of the shooters," he said. "But we kept giving them mental tasks to achieve and kept the momentum going through Virtual Conferences and the results at Lima show that we are on the right track." Deepak Sharma, CWG medalist, and Kavinder Chaudhary, vice president of PCI, too were part of the selection committee meeting.
The PCI has also sent three names to IPC under Bipartite Entry System for consideration.