Record number of shooters qualify for Tokyo Paralympics

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As many as 10 para shooters will be representing India at the Paralympics when the 2020 Tokyo Para Games get underway on August 24, according to the Paralympic Committee of India.

This is the first time that such a big number of shooters have been able to achieve the required benchmark for the qualification.

In the past, the Indian shooters have only been able to book one quota in shooting at the Paralympics.

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The members of the Selection Committee assembled at the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) office on Thursday to select para shooters who will be representing India at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. The selectors took the scores of para shooters from May 2018 to July 5, 2021 in International competitions, national championship and selection trials into consideration.

“Rubina Francis has qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics with a World Record while Avani Lekhara has qualified for all four wheelchair shooting events which is great achievement. It is a great achievement and a result of hard work of the coaches and the shooters,” said Deep Malik, president of PCI.

Kavinder Chaudhary, the PCI vice-president, expressed his hope for a rich haul of medals from the shooters. “From just one shooter in past Para Games to 10 in Tokyo, we have really taken a big stride and we are hoping that this time we will be able to win record medals just in shooting,” said Kavinder.

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National shooting coach Subhash Rana said, “Contribution of JP Nautiyal our head coach is enormous. It was tough during the period of Covid to keep the spirit of the shooters. But we kept giving them mental tasks to achieve and kept the momentum going through virtual conferences and the results at Lima show that we are on the right track.”

Commonwealth Games medalist Deepak Sharma, who was part of the selection committee, was really excited at the development. “From 1 to 10 in just a gap of four years is unprecedented, especially when a lot of time has been spent under Covid-19 Protocol. It’s no mean achievement and we are hopeful for a rich haul of medals.”, said Deepak.

PCI has also sent three names to IPC under Bipartite Entry System for consideration.

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List of shooters who have qualified

Manish Narwal 10m air pistol men (P1) and 50m pistol (P4)

Singhraj 10m air pistol men (P1) and 50m pistol (P4)

Deepender Singh 10m air pistol men (P1)

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Avani Lekhara (wheelchair) 10m air rifle standing women (R2), 10m rifle prone mixed (R3), 50m rifle prone mixed (R6), and 50m rifle 3-pos women (R8)

Deepak (wheelchair) 10m air rifle standing men (R1), 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3), 50m rifle prone mixed (R6), 50m rifle 3-pos men (R7)

Sidhartha Babu (wheelchair) 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3), 50m rifle prone mixed (R6)

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Swaroop Mahavir Unhalkar (wheelchair) 10m air rifle standing men (R1)

Akash 25m pistol (P3) and 50m pistol (P4)

Rahul Jakhar 25m pistol mixed (P3)

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Rubina Francis 10m air pistol women (P2)

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