Baku (Azerbaijan), Aug 14 (PTI) Indian shooters will begin their quest to secure as many Paris Olympics quota places as possible in the ISSF World Championship here, which is offering 48 berths across 12 events.
The competition for medals in the sport’s blue-riband tournament will start from Thursday, with the 10m air pistol men’s final and the 10m air pistol women’s final.
Among the 53-member Indian contingent, 34 shooters will be participating in the 15 Olympic events while 19 will compete in non-Olympic events.
In terms of competitiveness and quality of fields, the quadrennial showpiece is held “at par or higher” than even the Olympics by the international shooting fraternity. As per the fixtures, the quota places will be won in a seven-day period between August 17-24.
A first batch of 18 Indian shooters, 17 officials and support staff has already arrived in Baku and have begun training. While the shotgun shooters had a 11-day camp in Italy, the rifle and pistol shooters had an eight-day national camp in Delhi ahead of the event.
India have won three Paris quotas so far and are looking to better their previous best of 15 quotas, which they won for the Tokyo Games.
Rudrankksh Patil in men’s 10m air rifle, Swapnil Suresh Kusale in men’s 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) and Bhowneesh Mendiratta in men’s trap are the three quota winners for India so far.
Among the Tokyo Olympians, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Manu Bhaker and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa have made the cut, while 2016 Rio Olympian Kynan Chenai, is also part of the men’s trap squad.
Also featuring in the men’s trap squad is 46-year old Zoravar Singh Sandhu, who first shot in a World Championship 25 years ago.
Close to 1250 athletes from over 100 nations have entered to take part in the Baku World Championship. PTI AH AM AH AM AM