Elavenil picked, Chinki left out of Olympics shooting squad

Elavenil Valarivan.

New Delhi, (Asian independent) Elavenil Valarivan, the world No 1 in women’s 10m air rifle who didn’t win an Olympic quota, has been included in the national shooting team for Tokyo Olympics while Chinki Yadav, the winner of a quota place in women’s 25 metres pistol, has been dropped.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), the governing body of the sport in the country, announced the squad on Sunday.

Since a quota place goes to the country and not to the individual shooter winning it, it can be swapped by the NRAI between shooters.

In the 2019 qualification cycle, India had won 15 quota places. The NRAI has also selected 14 reserves for the Olympics starting on July 23.

After a marathon meeting of the selection panel held in the Capital on Sunday, NRAI decided to field Haryana’s teenage shooter Manu Bhaker and Asian Games champion Rahi Sarnobat in the women’s 25 metres sports pistol for the Olympics leaving out Chinki.

The panel decided that the quota won by Chinki will be given to Anjum Moudgil to enable her to compete in the women’s 50 metres 3 position along with Tejaswini Sawant. Anjum will also compete in the women’s 10m air rifle mixed team event.

NRAI president Raninder Singh, justifying the inclusion of Elavenil and exclusion of Chinki from the final squad for Olympics, said the selection has been done only on merit and in keeping with the provisions of the NRAI’s Olympic selection policy which gives rankings more importance than quota place winners.

“This merit based approach has enabled us to field a third specialist shooter in the women’s 10m air rifle event (Anjum for the new mixed team event) as well as go with two best shooters in the women’s 25m [sports] pistol event,” the NRAI president said in a statement.

Manu will also compete in the 10m air pistol event along with Yashaswini Deswal.

Elavenil and Apurvi Chandela will represent India in the women’s 10 metres air rifle event.

Anjum will pair with Deepak Kumar in the 10m air rifle mixed team competition while Elavenil will team up with Divyansh Singh Panwar as the other pair for the 10m air rifle mixed team event.

“The national selection committee’s main focus was to select the strongest squad for the Olympics and to ensure that the most consistent performers in each event, during the course of the entire Olympics cycle, do not miss out. I believe they have done an excellent job on both those fronts and we are confident that this selection will deliver,” said the NRAI president in the statement.

Team

Saurabh Choudhary, Abhishek Verma (men’s 10m air pistol), Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Deswal (women’s 10m air pistol), Rahi Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker (women’s 25m pistol), Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar (men’s 10m air rifle), Elavenil Valarivan and Apurvi Chandela (women’s 10m air rifle), Sanjeev Rajput and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (men’s 50m rifle 3 positions), Tejaswini Sawant (women’s 50m rifle 3 positions), Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Angadvir Singh Bajwa (men’s skeet).

For mixed team events

Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan, Deepak Kumar and Anjum Moudgil (10m air rifle);

Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker, Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Deswal (10m air pistol mixed team).

Reserve shooters

Sandeep Singh and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (men’s 10m air rifle), Swapnil Kusale and Chain Singh (men’s 50m rifle 3 position), Shahzar Rizvi and Om Prakash Mitharwal (men’s 10m air pistol), Anjum Moudgil and Shreya Agarwal (women’s 10m air rifle), Sunidhi Chauhan and Gaayathri N (women’s 50m rifle 3 position), P Shri Nivetha and Shweta Singh (women’s 10m air pistol), Chinki Yadav and Abhidnya Patil (women’s 25m sports pistol), Gurjoat Singh Khangura and Sheeraz Sheikh (men’s skeet)