London Olympics Preview: Shooting




Four years ago, Bindra sowed the seed. Its harvest time for Indian shooters in London Olympics.

To say that our shooters are silent horses is an under statement. When media hops around Deepika Kumari, Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal and Sushil Kumar as India’s gold medal chances, Indian shooters are silently preparing and letting out a confident smile that “we will make news in Olympics.” There are as much as 11 shooters qualified for Olympics and as it was like for last 10 years in all big events, Indian shooters walk with good form and lots of hopes for medals but history says they failed to live upto the expectations in big occasions. Will Olympics be the break for them? lets see.

10m air rifle (Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang) – A medal, may be two?

India has two of their best players in this event. The Beijing Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra will be defending his crown this time and his recent surge back to good form adds more to the confidence of getting a medal if not gold. Giving company for Bindra will be Gagan Narang, who won four gold medals at 2010 commonwealth games. Actually he is the first Indian to qualify for London Olympics. Gagan form might be little concern since he hadn’t won anything after Delhi games. The Chinese Yi Siling and Zhu Qinan are favourites to win the gold. Expect a tough battle between India and China in this category.

10m air pistol (Vijay Kumar, Annuraj Singh and Heena Sidhu) – A lucky chance

In men’s category, it is close to nothing for India. Vijay Kumar, a regular 25m rapid fire pistol will not find on his own at 10m air pistol especially in Olympics. Heena Sidhu who sprung a surprise in Olympic qualification itself is too much a call to provide similar one during the games. Heena preferred over Athens Olympic silver medalist Rathore for London Olympics due to her fine recent performances. On her day, Heena might just pluck the medal if god smile at her on July 29th. Another Indian contingent, Annuraj Singh also don’t posses much threat for medal.

25m air rapid fire pistol (Vijay Kumar) – An outside chance

Just like Gagan, Vijay won three gold and one silver at the 2010 commonwealth games. His world ranking of 15 with a rating of 2000 points difference from top player suggests nothing but need a miracle for medal.

Double trap (Ronjan Sodhi) – A medal in bank

Yes, you have to say a medal in bank already. Ronjan is the beast to stop in double trap from getting the gold medal. With 4 golds, 3 silvers and a bronze in 2010 and 2011, Ronjan claimed to top of the tree in ISSF rankings. He became the first Indian to become a No.1 in any shooting discipline. Ronjan didn’t add anything to his tally in last 6 months but his record and consistency speaks for him. 8 years ago, the same event yielded India the first ever medal in shooting and now i won’t be surprised if it earns gold medal.

With Gagan Narang recent form, you got to fancy him for atleast one medal in any of three events he is participating at London Olympics. The others like Manvajit Sindhu, Sanjeev Rajput, Joydeep Karmakar, Shagun Chowdhary and Rahi Sarnobat holds no chance at all in their categories.

A gold medal will surely come from one in-between Ronjan, Bindra and Gagan in shooting. And with that, expect two more medals.

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