India bagged an unprecedented 15 Olympic quotas in shooting after Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan’s 1-2 finish in skeet and teenager Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar’s bronze at the Asian Championships here on Sunday.
Continuing India’s impressive performance, the duo of Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma got the better of compatriots Saurabh Chaudhary and Yashaswini Singh Deswal 16-10 to win the gold medal in the 10m air pistol mixed team event.
Manu and Abhishek shot 577 and 387 in the two qualifications, while Saurabh and Yashaswini managed 576 and 387. Before India’s exploits in the mixed event, Tomar shot 449.1 in the eight-man final to finish third on the podium, behind gold medallist Kim Jonghyun (459.9) of Korea and Chinese Zhonghao Zhao (459.1).
He had sailed to the final with a 1168 score in the 120-shot qualifying. There were three quotas on offer in the event. Tomar is the second Indian, after veteran Sanjeev Rajput, to have got a quota place in the 3 position event.
This is Tomar’s first stint at the senior level, having broken through following a string of strong performances as a junior. Tomar also clinched the team bronze, combining with Chain Singh (1155) and Parul Kumar (1154). Individually, Chain finished 17th in the qualifications, while Parul was 20th.
Later, the 23-year-old Angad, a joint world record holder, and 44-year-old Mairaj brought the curtains down on day six in style. Angad prevailed over his senior in the shoot-off after both were tied at 56 hits apiece in the 60-shot final. Kuwait’s Habib Saud won bronze and the third available quota place.
Prior to the final, there was a marathon eight-way shoot-off for the final three qualification spots. Mairaj won that challenge, shooting down 38 birds straight to overcome Habib, who missed his 38th. Angad bagged the sixth and last spot in the final, hitting 25. Both Mairaj and Angad had posted scores of 120 out of 125 in qualification.