Munich: Commonwealth Games gold medallists Manu Bhaker, Heena Sidhu and Jitu Rai will spearhead India’s challenge at the ISSF World Cup the final competitive outing for rifle and pistol shooters before the Asian Games and World Championships starting here on Thursday.
Preceding the tournament proper will be the Grand Prix events in 50m rifle prone, where the likes of Olympic medallist Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput, Chain Singh in men and Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant and Shreya Szxena in women will compete tomorrow.
On the first day of tournament proper, Rajput, Swapnil Kusale and Akhil Sheoran will be in action in the men’s 50m rifle 3 position, while in the women’s 10m air rifle, Glasgow CWG gold medallist Apurvi Chandela, Gold Coast Games silver winner Mehuli Ghosh and Anjum Moudgil will carry India’s hopes.
The prestigious tournament, held in the city where the International Shooting Sport Federation is headquartered, will also see other top Indian shooters such as Ravi Kumar, Deepak Kumar, Om Prakash Mitharwal, Shahzar Rizvi and veterans like Rahi Sarnobat and Annuraj Singh in action.
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More than 817 shooters from 84 countries have confirmed participation, with India is fielding a 31-strong contingent, including nine in the Minimum Qualification Score (not competing for a medal but only registering international scores) section.
Three World Cup stages before this for rifle and pistol have been held in Guadalajara (Mexico), Changwon (South Korea) and Fort Benning (USA) earlier this year.
While India finished first in Guadalajara with nine medals, they finished 12th at Changwon with a solitary silver while choosing to abstain from the Fort Benning tournament.