The 15 Olympic quotas is not only a great example of India’s rapid rise in shooting over the last year but also nicely sets up the shooters for a record haul in Tokyo Olympics.
Regularly hitting the target, Indian shooters’ dominance in this phenomenal year made international events look like domestic tourneys.
Leading the incredible showing was a talented youth brigade that had no fear. Some studied hard, appeared for exams, practised hard and then won. While others dominated the range first and wrote their papers later. In final, they came back at the range again and continues what has been an unprecedented upswing.
When it comes to overall medals, the tally stood at 21 gold, 6 silver, and 3 bronze and India topped all the Rifle-Pistol World Cups and Finals in 2019.
The record number of 15 Olympic quotas is not only a reflection of India’s rapid rise in the sport of shooting over the last one year but also sets up the shooters nicely for a record haul in next year’s Tokyo Olympics, after the meltdown at Rio de Janeiro of Brazil.
The best show of Indian shooting at the Olympics remains the 2 medals won at London 2012 Summer Olympic, but if Indian shooters’ recent exploits are anything to go by, the country can emulate more easily or better than that in Tokyo.
However, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) is far from basking in its shooters’ glory yet. NRAI is impressed with the performance which might have exceeded expectations but it is finding ways to protect them from exploitation and distractions.
That called for taking some tough decisions such as banning the shooters from signing any fresh commercial deals in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic Games, a move that might not have found favors with many.
In addition to the shooters, the federation has also worked hard towards bringing the sport to where it is today, so it doesn’t want to waste all its hard work in the next Olympic.
NRAI is hoping that its trailblazers can carry their form into Tokyo, but before that, the shooters themselves will also have the opportunities to win some more medals to boost their morale further. One of them is the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in New Delhi in March.