Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra made the cut, but London Games bronze winner Gagan Narang failed to qualify for the 10m air rifle event for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
Narang, who had bagged a bronze at the 2012 London Olympics in 10m air rifle event, missed out on a place since his last six scores were not good enough. The last scores included the ones recorded in World Cups, National Championships and national trials.
“That is the criteria for selecting teams,” National Rifle Association of India Secretary Rajiv Bhatia said.
The Hyderabad-based ace shooter, who won four gold medals in the 2010 Delhi CWG, will, however, be competing in two other events.
The selection committee of the NRAI picked the rifle and pistol teams for the quadrennial multi-sporting event to be held in Glasgow from July 23 to August 3.
The shotgun team for CWG will be selected after the World Cup in Almaty, Mr. Bhatia said.
Army shooter Vijay Kumar, who had clinched a silver in 2012 London Olympics, will compete in his pet event — men’s 25m rapidfire pistol.
Narang, a multiple medallist at the CWG, Asian Games and World Cups, will be representing India at Glasgow in men’s 50m 3-position rifle and 50m prone events alongside Sanjeev Rajput and Joydeep Karmakar, respectively.
Bindra, though, will be taking part in his pet event. “Seems like I’m headed to my 5 th commonwealth games. Have to say I’m as kicked about the fact like I was for my first :-),” Bindra, India’s only individual gold winner in the Olympics, had tweeted on Thursday.
World number one Heena Sidhu will lead the Indian women’s challenge in the pistol and rifle events alongside Lajja Gauswami and a host of other promising shooters.
The 24-year-old Sidhu recently attained the top spot in women’s 10-meter air pistol after winning back-to-back medals — a gold at Asian Air Gun Championship in Kuwait, followed by a silver at ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup in Fort Benning, U.S.A. last month.
Commonwealth Games squad for Rifle and Pistol events:
10m air rifle (men): Abhinav Bindra, Ravi Kumar
50m 3-position rifle (men): Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput
50m prone (men): Gagan Narang, Joydeep Karmakar
25m rapidfire pistol (men): Vijay Kumar, Harpreet Singh
10m air pistol (men): P N Prakash, Om Prakash
50m 3-position (women): Lajja Gauswami, Elizabeth Susan Koshy
50m prone (women): Lajja Gauswami, Meena Kumari
10m air rifle (women): Ayonika Paul, Apurvi Chandela
25m sports pistol (women): Rahi Sarnobat, Anisa Sayyed
10m air pistol (women): Heena Sidhu, Malaika Goel.