Elavenil, Saurabh put up strong show at European Shooting Championship
(Sourced from PTI)
World number one in women's 10m air rifle, Elavenil Valarivan, and world number two in men's 10m air pistol, Saurabh Chaudhary, put up a strong show in the European Shooting Championship in Croatia on Monday. As many as 10 members of the 13-member strong Indian Olympic-bound rifle and pistol shooting squad got their first taste of competition during their ongoing training-cum-competition tour of Croatia.
Shooting in the MQS (Minimum Qualification Score) section, Chaudhary shot more than the tournament proper's topper in men's 10m air pistol event. World Cup and Asian Games gold medalist Chaudhary shot 589 to top the chart in his event's MQS, while compatriot Abhishek Verma was fourth with 579. Tokyo-bound Chaudhary was ahead of Ukraine's Oleh Omelchuk, who topped the main qualification with 586.
Chaudhary and Verma will be headed for Tokyo after their training-cum-competition stint in Croatia. In the women's 10m air rifle, Elavenil shot 630.4 to finish on top ahead of Iranians Armina Sadeghian (629.8) and Fatemeh Karamzadeh (628.7). Elavenil's score would have seen her make the finals in second place, behind world number two and New Delhi World Cup gold medalist Ziva Dvorsak of Slovenia.z
Apurvi Chandela was fourth with 627.8, while Anjum Moudgil was seventh with 624.7. Dvorsak topped the main women's 10m air rifle qualification with 630.8 and she was followed by Norway's Jeanette Hegg Duestad (630.6) and Italian Sofia Ceccarello (630.2).
"Dusting off from Delhi WC score .. training in Hyderabad with @gagunnarang has been productive with a 630.4 .. in Euro Champs," Elavenil tweeted after her event. In women's 10m air pistol, world number one and two Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Manu Bhaker shot scores of 572 and 573 respectively. They would have missed Monday's final, given the 10th place in regulars logged 574.
It was a high-class field, nonetheless, with reigning Olympic and world champion Anna Korakaki shooting the same score as Bhaker to finish 13th and outside the finals spots. The talented Divyansh Singh Panwar (628.10) was second in the men's 10m air rifle qualification.
The other Indians - Deepak Kumar (627.4) and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (625.0) - were third and fifth, respectively, in the event. China's Lihao Sheng finished ahead of Divyansh, with 630.5. Russia's Vladimir Maslennikov topped the main qualification with 631.8, with 627.1 being the cut. Rifle Coach Deepali Deshpande said, "This competition is the best possible start for our final preparations for Tokyo."
"Everyone looked good today. At the Delhi World Cup itself, all except Apurvi looked ready technically. Today our focus was Apurvi and thankfully she is back on track. Even Deepak Kumar looks good," she said. Participating in the continental tournament as a guest invitee, the Indians only shot in the MQS section, and hence, their scores were not considered for medals.
The Indian shooters are taking part in the men's and women's individual Olympic events only. 15 Indian shooters in total have qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Skeet shooters Mairaj Khan and Angad Bajwa, who have also qualified for the Games, are training in Italy.