Apurvi, Elavenil, Chaudhary and Verma to launch India's shooting campaign at Olympics
New Delhi, July 23, 2021
Four Indians -- Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan in Women’s 10M Air Rifle and Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma in Men’s 10M Air Pistol events -- will launch the country's shooting campaign at Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.
The campaign will open with the 10M Air Rifle Women’s qualification round, where Apurvi Chandela and world number one Elavenil Valarivan are in contention. They will be looking to make it to the top-eight finals field from among 49 shooters in the qualification fray.
The finals are scheduled for 7.15 am IST.
Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma then take the field in the Men’s 10M Air Pistol with qualifications beginning at 9.30 am IST for the 36-man field. The finals then follow from 12 noon.
Rifle coach Deepali Deshpande exuded confidence. “The girls are all raring to go and training today has been as planned. We are confident of a good showing tomorrow.”
Also sharing his thoughts from Tokyo was Pistol coach Ronak Pandit saying, “Yes, the boys trained for an hour today as did other members of the squad and they are all shaping up well. We are all looking forward to the start of competitions and are focused on the job ahead.”
Generally, a score of 630 out of a maximum possible 654 ensures qualification into the finals at this level. The Indian duo has recorded world competition bests of 633 (Apurvi) and 632.7 (Elavenil), respectively.
Apurvi also holds the finals world record in the event with a score of 252.9 to her name.
ROC athlete Yulia Karimova, the reigning world champion in the 50M Rifle 3 Positions Olympic event and Chinese Taipei’s world number four Lin Ying-Shin will pose the most formidable threats in the field.
In-form shooters like Carolyne Mary Tucker of the US, Ziva Dvorsak of Slovenia, Sofia Ceccarilo of Italy, and Eszter Mezaros of Hungary will also pose a strong challenge along with the Chinese duo of Wang Luyao and Yang Qian and strong Korean shooter Eunji Kwon.
A total of 60 shots are fired in the qualification round in an allotted time of 75 minutes from a 0.177 inches caliber Air Rifle, and scoring is in decimals of 10 with a 10.9 being the perfect shot.
The finals are a 24-shot affair with the eighth-place being decided after 12-shots and one shooter being eliminated after every two shots thereafter, till the winner is decided after the 23rd and 24th single shots.
The field is without the Rio Olympics medalists and, therefore, will have a new Olympic champion.
Saurabh and Abhishek have been, by far, the two best Air Pistol shooters in the world over the past three years, but the much narrower 36-man field here is very tough because of the presence of some legends of pistol shooting, led by Korean Jongoh Jin.
The four-time Olympic Champion (including once in this event), is also the reigning world champion and will have for company Beijing Olympic champion Pang Wei of China, the Rio Rapid Fire Pistol champion Christian Reitz of Germany and the Rio defending champion Hoang Xuan Vinh of Vietnam.
The Indian duo will also have to contend with the challenges of ROC athlete Artem Chernousov (world number three), in-form Iranian Javad Foroughi (world number four and winner of the last two World Cups before the Olympics), seasoned Serbian Damir Mikec, recently crowned European Champion Juraj Tuzinsky of Slovakia and top-class Ukranian shooters Oleh Omelchuk and Pavlo Korostylov, among others.
The qualification round here is scored in full rings as opposed to decimals in the Air Rifle competition, and a score of 580 is considered the bare minimum to reach the finals of world-class competitions.
The finals revert to decimal scoring and follow the exact same format as the Air Rifle competition, explained earlier.