A 12-member Indian shooting contingent will vie for a total of eight Tokyo Olympics quota places when it open its campaign at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup to be held in Acapulco, Mexico from March 19 to 26.
There are two quota places each on offer in women’s Trap, men’s Trap, women’s Skeet and men’s Skeet disciplines. However, there are no quota places at the mixed Trap event.
A total of five events are scheduled at this year’s first Shotgun World Cup, beginning with the qualification rounds of the women’s Trap event.
The Indian contingent includes former world champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu in the men’s Trap and current finals world record holder in the men’s Skeet Angad Vir Singh Bajwa.
India have won a total of three Tokyo Olympic quotas in shooting so far, among the top five quota winning countries in the world. However, all of them have been in the Rifle and Pistol disciplines.
Besides 12 competitors across five medal events, Zoravar Singh Sandhu will also compete in the MQS (Minimum Qualification Score) category in the men’s Trap. A total of 351 athletes from 61 nations will be seen in action in the tournament.
Indian team: Men’s Trap: Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Kynan Chenai, Prithiviraj Tondaiman.
Women’s Trap: Shagun Chowdhary, Rajeshwari Kumari, Varsha Varman.
Men’s Skeet: Mairaj Ahmed Khan, Sheeraz Sheikh, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa.
Women’s Skeet: Rashmmi Rathore, Simranpreet Kaur, Maheshwari Chauhan.
Mixed Trap: Kynan Chenai, Shagun Chowdhary, Prithviraj Tondaiman, Rajeshwari Kumari.
Trap MQS: Zoravar Singh
Kushagra Rawat took a step towards qualifying for 2020 Olympics after achieving the B standard of the 800m freestyle event at the Speedo Thailand Age Group swimming championships in Bangkok on Sunday.
Rawat clocked 08.07.99 to cross the Olympic Games B standard qualifying time of 08:08.54 for the men’s 800m freestyle event.
In the Olympics and World Championships, if the full quota of swimmers to take part in a particular event are not filled by those who crossed the A standard, those who achieved B standard will be called upon to compete.
Not only in 800m freestyle, Kushagra has made the B standard for the World Championships in the 400m freestyle with a time of 03:56.10. The B standard qualifying time for the World Championships in 400m freestyle is 03.56.14.
“Your aim must be high, do your efforts accordingly, you will get your goal nearby,” said Kushagra, who trains at the SAI Glenmark TIDM programme which is based out of the Dr SPM Swimming Complex in New Delhi.
Head Coach of SGTIDM Program, Partha Pratim Majumder praised Rawat saying: “This performance reflects that we are moving in the right direction towards our ‘Mission Olympic Podium 2020/2024’ with his sincere training efforts.
“We developed specific long term programmes for him to ensure steady progression and motivated him and his family regularly.”
The SGTIDM programme was set up in 2016 wherein the Sports Authority of India and Glenmark Aquatic Foundation partnered with a vision to develop Indian swimmers for podium finishes at global aquatic meets like the Olympics.
“As of now, it is not 100 per cent guaranteed that he will take part in the Olympics or World Championships, but he has a taken a step towards doing that. If A standard achievers do not fill up the full quota of swimmers required for a particular event, those who achieved B standard will be allowed to participate,” an official told PTI.
Rawat joined the academy in 2016 and his best time in 800m freestyle at that time was 08.49.24. He shed around 42 seconds in three years to become the fastest in India.
The Wrestling Federation of India on Thursday invited applications for multiple positions, including mental conditioning coaches, physios, and nutritionists, to bolster preparations for the 2020 Olympics.
The WFI has decided to hire support staff in all three categories men’s freestyle, greco roman and the women’s team.
WFI already offers annual contracts to its leading wrestlers across all age categories, including stipends for select junior athletes.
Speaking about the hiring of professionals, WFI President Brijbhushan Sharan Singh said, “These hirings are aimed at preparing the players with a focus on the 2020 Tokyo Games. These trained hands will closely work with the players at the Olympic preparatory camps in run-up to the Tokyo Games.”
“Experienced physiotherapist, biomechanics coach, mental conditioning trainer, and nutritionist will be accompanying the wrestlers buttressed with exposure trips abroad, ensuring world-class preparations for each of the Indian grapplers.”
“The new coaches already working with the team and now the news of the induction of professional support staff is a very significant move,” she said.
“This was a much-needed aspect of development and seamless training. I am happy that their presence will help and aid us to recover faster and train in more scientific ways,” she added.
The wrestling contingent has already got foreign coaches.
Hossein Karimi from Iran is working with the freestyle team, Andrew Cook from USA is coaching the women’s team and Temo Kazarashvili from Georgia is honing the skills of the greco-roman unit.
India has won a medal in wrestling at each of the last three Olympic games and will be keen to keep that run going in Tokyo.