Divyansh, Babuta, Anjum qualify for 10m air rifle finals

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NEW DELHI, March 19 (PTI): Tokyo Olympics quota holders Anjum Moudgil, Divyansh Singh Panwar and Arjun Babuta qualified for the women’s and men’s 10m air rifle finals respectively on the opening day of the ISSF World Cup here on Friday.

In the 60-shot qualification, the 18-year-old Panwar finished sixth with a total of 629.1, while 2016 ISSF junior world cup Bronze medallist Babuta grabbed the third place after firing 631.8 at the Karni Singh Shooting Range.

Anjum, 27, qualified for the women’s 10m air rifle final by finishing an impressive second after aggregating 629.6 over six series of 60 shots.

World number one in the event, Elavenil Valarivan, could not make the top eight and finished 12th after managing to score 626.7.

Apurvi Chandela, who is also a Tokyo Games quota holder, had to be contend with a 26th place finish after shooting 622.8 in an unsuccessful qualifying outing here.

Hungarian Eszter Denes claimed the top position in the women’s event with 629.8 while Carolynn Mary Tucker of the USA was third with 629.1.

Anjum is one of the first Indian shooters to secure a Tokyo Olympics quota. The Chandigarh-based shooter bagged the Olympic quota with a silver medal at the 2018 World Championships in Korea.

The other Indian participant in the fray in men’s event, Deepak Kumar, could not make the cut as he ended up 12th with 626.4.

South Korea’s Taeyun Nam topped the qualification with 632.1 while Israel’s Sergey Richter was second with 631.8.

India’s Divyansh secured the Olympic quota when he bagged a Silver in the 10m air rifle event at the Beijing World Cup in April 2019.

World No.1 Divyansh, who had stamped his authority on the men’s 10m air rifle event at the National shooting trials here earlier this year, is one of the India’s medal hopefuls in shooting at the Tokyo Games.

The Jaipur-based Panwar, who took to shooting at the age of 12, had trained under Deepak Kumar in New Delhi.

The 22-year-old, who has been doing quite well in the junior category in the past, and is looking to establish himself in the senior, produced some excellent shooting in the qualification here and, barring in his 20th shot, never went below 10 in the qualification.

World number two, Petar Gorsa of Croatia, did not start while Hungarian shooting legend Peter Sidi could not make the cut.

In the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) category, Nisha Kanwar and Shriyanka Shadangi shot 629.4 and 626.4 respectively. While in the men’s MQS, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar fired 632.4 and Pankaj Kumar managed 627.1.

A total of 294 athletes from 53 countries, including a 57-member Indian contingent, are competing in the first multi-nation Olympic sporting event of this scale anywhere in the world post the pandemic-forced lockdown.

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