Final Oly qualifier: Strong qualification field first big challenge for India’s women air pistol shooters in Rio

New Delhi: A world-class 52-strong field will only be the first challenge for India’s women 10m air pistol shooters — Palak Gulia, Surbhi Rao and Sainyam, in their quest for a quota place for the Paris Olympics, at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Final Olympic Qualification Championship Rifle/Pistol in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday.

The second test for them will be having to sleep over the qualification result, if one or more of them make the final, which is scheduled for Sunday, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) informed on Friday.

That is the big change which shooters will have to adapt to, given that is how the schedule will be at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics in July. All ISSF Rifle/Pistol events till the Paris Games, as well as the Olympic Selection Trials back home will now be played in this format — finals a day after qualification, as opposed to on the same day as has been the prevailing practice.

Foreign coach Munkhbayar Dorsjuren accompanying the squad said ahead of qualifications, “Our shooters have trained hard and are confident going into the competition tomorrow. It is a tough challenge, but we are sure if we put our best foot forward, we will achieve our goal.”

Some competitors who are likely to give a tough time to the Indian quest are the likes of Veronika Major (Hungary), Sandra Reitz (Germany), Yu Ai Wen (Chinese Taipei), Haniyeh Rostamiyan (Iran), Yulia Korostylova (Ukraine), Teh Xiu Hong (Singapore) and Tanyaporn Prucksakorn (Thailand) among others.


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