Tokyo Olympics: How many medals can India win in shooting?
Such has been their consistency that it is almost certain that India will win medals in shooting at Tokyo; the only question is how many?
Shooting has been hyped as India's best bet to win medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by fans and pundits alike. Shooters from the country have won medals after medals in the past few years and have themselves as a force to reckon with across the world.
Ask any sports shooter from around the globe on which country do they think will start as favourites for the highest podium finishes in the sport at Tokyo, and the answer would most likely be India. Such has been their consistency that it is almost certain that the country will win medals in shooting at Tokyo; the only question is how many?
Saurabh Chaudhary (10m air pistol)
A pistol shooter from the state of Uttar Pradesh, Saurabh Chaudhary, is just 19-years-old. Besides being the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the Asian Games, he is also the only Indian to win gold medals at ISSF World Championships, ISSF World Cup, Youth Olympic Games, Asian Games and Asian Air Gun Championship. Currently ranked world number 2 in the Tokyo 2020 Rankings as well as 2021 World Rankings in 10m air pistol, it would be a big disappointment if Saurabh Chaudhary fails to bring home a medal from Tokyo Olympics.
Abhishek Verma (10m air pistol)
An engineer cum lawyer turned shooter, Abhishek Verma, is 31 years old. Hailing from the state of Haryana, he is someone who took shooting very late in his life. Verma is currently ranked number 1 in the Tokyo 2020 Rankings and world number 3 in 2021 World Rankings. Competing alongside Saurabh Chaudhary in the 10m air pistol event, there are high chances that we might see them together sharing the podium at Tokyo.
Manu Bhaker (10m air pistol)
Hailing from the state of Haryana, Manu Bhaker specialises in pistol shooting. The 19-year-old has multiple podium finishes under her belt and is currently ranked World number 2 in both the Tokyo 2020 Rankings and 2021 World Rankings. She has time and again proved her mettle at the global level and will surely be one of India's best medal-bets at the Tokyo Olympics.
Divyansh Singh Panwar (10m air rifle)
A rifle shooter from the state of Rajasthan, Divyansh Panwar, is 22 years old. Competing in the 10m air rifle event, he shot to fame through his performances at the 2018 ISSF Junior World Cup. There has been no looking back since for the young Panwar, who is currently ranked number 2 in Tokyo 2020 Rankings, number 3 in 2021 World Rankings, and will enter Tokyo as India's best shooter in men's 10m air rifle.
Elavenil Valarivan (10m air rifle)
A 21-year-old who specialises in rifle shooting, Elavenil Valarivan mainly competes in the 10m air rifle event. She rose to fame with her performances at the ISSF Junior World Cup in 2018. Even though she was not the one who won the quota for India, she was accommodated into the squad due to her consistency in the past few years. She is currently ranked number 1 in the Tokyo 2020 Rankings and number 12 in the 2021 World Rankings.
Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (50m rifle 3 positions)
A 20-year-old from the state of Madhya Pradesh, Aishwary Tomar, is a rifle shooter. He will be seen competing in the 50m rifle 3 positions at Tokyo. Tomar is currently ranked number 2 in Tokyo 2020 Rankings and number 1 in the 2021 World Rankings. With the kind of form he was in during the recently concluded ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, a podium finish at Tokyo might not be a tough job to accomplish for Aishwary Tomar.
Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary (Mixed 10m air pistol)
The duo of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary in the mixed 10m air pistol event has wreaked havoc in every tournament they have played together. Having played a total of five World Cups together since 2019, the duo has clinched gold medals in each of those five ISSF World Cups.
Divyansh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan (Mixed 10m air rifle)
Divyansh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan will enter the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as India's best rifle shooters. The duo paired up at the recently concluded ISSF World Cup in Delhi and clinched the gold medal in the mixed 10m air rifle event, and if it is anything to go by, the duo of Panwar and Valarivan will surely be a medal contender at Tokyo.