New Delhi, 23 August: Shooter Sift Kaur Samra finished fifth in the 50m rifle 3 positions at the ISSF World Championship in Baku, Azerbaijan, but that was enough for her to secure a Paris Olympics quota for India.
Since four of the eight women who made the finals of the event had already secured Olympic quotas from previous qualifying events, Sift Kaur Samra secured the quota spot for the country by making the cut for the medal round.
It was India’s sixth quota in shooting but it was the first in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions event. A country can only obtain a maximum of two quotas in each individual event. Akhil Sheoran ( 50m rifle 3 positions) and Mehuli Ghosh ( 10m air rifle) had secured Olympic quotas for India at the Baku meet earlier.
Bhowneesh Mendiratta ( trap), Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil (10m air rifle) and Swapnil Kusale (50m rifle 3 positions) also secured Olympic quotas for India at last year’s ISSF World Championships.
Samra scored a total of 429.1 points in the final to finish fifth. Qiongyue Zhang of China won the gold l with 465.3 points. She was followed by her compatriot Han Jiayu, who claimed the silver with a score of 463.5 and Sagen Maddalena of the USA, who shot a score of 451.9 for bronze. Nina Christen of Switzerland came fourth with 440.2 points.
In the qualifying round, the Indian came fifth with a new national record of 589 points. She scored 192 in kneeling, 199 in prone and 198 in the standing position. Ashi Chouksey came 29th with a score of 582 while Manini Kaushik was 40th with 580 points. The Indian trio finished fifth in the team standings.
So far, India have won seven medals - four gold and three bronze - at Baku.
The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have the exclusive authority for the representation of their respective countries at the Olympic Games and athletes' participation at the Games depends on their NOC selecting them to represent their delegation at Paris .
However, Indian rifle and pistol shooters who have secured an Olympic quota for Paris will receive a bonus point in the national trials scheduled next year as per the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) selection policy.
The World Championship is a qualifying event for the Paris Olympics. A total of 48 Olympic quotas are on offer with the top four finishers (one per country) in each of the 12 Olympic individual shooting events securing a spot for their national teams.