New Delhi, 31 Oct: Anish Bhanwala claimed bronze in the 25m rapid-fire pistol event and secured India’s 12th Paris Olympic quota in shooting at the Asian Shooting Championships in Changwon, Korea on Monday. This was the country's first quota in the men’s 25m pistol event.
2018 Commonwealth Games champion, Anish scored 28/35 in the final before losing a shoot-off to Japan’s Dai Yoshioka, who went on to win the silver medal with a score of 33/40. South Korea’s Lee Gunhyeok shot 34/40 and bagged the gold medal.
Dai Yoshioka and Lee Gunhyeok had secured Olympic quotas for their national teams in prior events. Additionally, three out of the six finalists were from China, who had already reached the maximum quota limit of two in the 25m rapid-fire pistol. Consequently, Anish Bhanwala's spot in the final assured him an Olympic quota.
In the qualification round, Anish finished third with a score of 588 and made the cut for the final. Bhavesh Shekhawat, competing for ranking points only (RPO), shot 584 for sixth place. Vijayveer Sidhu was 10th with 581 and was followed by Gurpreet Singh (577) and Adarsh Singh (570) in the 15th and 25th positions, respectively.
The combined total of 1739 by Anish, Vijayveer Sidhu and Adarsh Singh also helped India win the bronze medal in the 25m pistol team event behind China (1758) and South Korea (1748).
Meanwhile, India could not add to their Olympic quotas in the trap events.
Zoravar Singh Sandhu made the six-shooter rap final after finishing second in the qualifying event with 119. However, the 46-year-old Indian was the first to get eliminated in the final.
Lakshay was 12th in qualifying with a score of 113 and was followed by Prithviraj Tondaiman (111) and Kynan Chenai (111) at 16th and 17th, respectively. Bhowneesh Mendiratta, who secured India an Olympic quota in the trap last year, was 22nd with 110 points. Lakshay and Bhowneesh Mendiratta were competing for RPO.
The combined score of 341 by Sandhu, Tondaiman and Kynan Chenai helped India claim the silver medal in the team event. Qatar (344) and Iran (340) took home the gold and bronze, respectively.
In the women’s trap, Rajeshwari Kumari, who obtained an Olympic quota at the world championships, and Shagun Chowdhary, both playing as RPO shooters, shot 108 and 107 to finish seventh and eighth, respectively. Preeti Rajak was the next best at 10th with 103. Manisha Keer (98) and Sabeera Haris (94) were 17th and 21st, respectively.
The Asian Shooting Championships is a qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympics. A total of 24 Olympic quotas are on offer with the top two finishers (one per country) in each of the 12 Olympic shooting events securing a spot for their national teams.
As National Olympic Committees have the exclusive authority for the representation of their respective countries at the Olympic Games, athletes' participation at the Paris Games depends on their NOC selecting them to represent their delegation at the Paris Games.