Indian team to have many known faces competing at the event in Suhl Germany from May 9 to 20.
Saurabh Chaudhary “The Monk” & Manu Bhaker are back where it all possibly started for them. The two shooters who were part of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo 2020 olympic games. They are now part of the Junior team for the ISSF World Cup.
Saurabh will have happy memories from Suhl where he had a junior world record to win the gold as a 16 year old in 2018.
India has been topping the medals at the last two Junior World Cups. In 2019 India had won 24 Medals including 10 Gold while in 2018 the Medal count was 48 with 24 Golds. This is drastic change if you compare the 2017 World Cup where India could only muster one Bronze Medal
The 51-member Indian team will also have other accomplished shooters like Anish Bhanwala, Naamya Kapoor, Vivaan Kapoor, Udhayveer Sidhu, Vijayveer Sidhu, Esha Singh and Rhythm Sangwan.
The ISSF defines a ‘junior’ as an athlete under the age of 21 on December 31 of the competition year.
First Major event for Juniors
The Suhl meet is the first major event for junior shooters this year. It features events in all three disciplines – pistol, rifle and shotgun.
This will also be the first major tournament for reigning 10m air pistol junior world champion Manu Bhaker, who last competed internationally at the President’s Cup in November. The young shooter had won two gold medals.
“We strongly believe that such quality exposure at a young age will only help them parallelly develop skills for Olympic events in the future as well,” K. Sultan Singh, secretary general of the NRAI, said. “Several such examples have been witnessed in the past. Also, you never quite know which event will become an Olympic event going forward.”
At the upcoming event in Germany, the 20-year-old Manu Bhaker will be competing in the 10m and 25m pistol events, individually and with the women’s team.
The 17-year-old Esha Singh had clinched the 10m air pistol gold at the Cairo World Cup. She was also part of the of the gold-winning women’s 25m pistol team along with Rhythm Sangwan. Also part of the squad are 14-year-old junior world champion Naamya Kapoor, upcoming teen shooters Esha Singh, Rhythm Sangwan and Anish Bhanwala.
NRAI to take care of expenses for Non olympic category shooters
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) announced that it would be taking care of the expenses of 14 shooters who would be competing in the non-Olympic events. The Union Government, through the Sports Authority of India (SAI) would be funding the expenses of the 37 shooters competing in the Olympic events.
Under the new setup, Joydeep Karmakar, an Olympian and former rifle shooter, will be the chief coach of the 50m rifle small bore event, while Suma Shirur will take charge of the 10m air rifle group.
Ronak Pandit is the chief coach of the 25m pistol event. Samresh Jung, Olympian and former international pistol shooter, will be the chief coach of the 10m air pistol discipline.