HomeSportsShooting: Varun and Esha secure Olympic quota slots with golds

Shooting: Varun and Esha secure Olympic quota slots with golds

Tomar defeats Arjun Singh Cheema in the last round of the Asian Olympic qualifications, giving India a record gold-silver finish; Esha Singh won gold in the women's 10m air pistol category.

Varun Tomar, the younger cousin of previous world champion and Tokyo Olympian Saurabh Chaudhary, and adolescent shooter Esha Singh secured India’s 14th and 15th quotas for this year’s Paris Games. Both quotas came from the 10m air pistol event.

Tomar, 20, sealed his Paris place by winning gold in the Asian Olympic Qualifier competition in Jakarta, defeating teammate Arjun Singh Cheema, who won silver, in a tight final.

Esha, 18, earned the gold medal in the women’s 10m air pistol with a remarkable performance, scoring 243.1 points to defeat Kishmala Talat of Pakistan.

The two seats mean India has equaled its best-ever Olympic presence (15 at the Tokyo Games) and is on track for record quotas in the Paris Olympics, which will take place from July 26 to August 11.

While the top two competitors in each event receive a quota ticket, India was only eligible for one spot in the men’s 10m air pistol since Sarabjot Singh had already claimed one last year. A country can win up to two quotas in each of the categories.

“I got here expecting to achieve the gold medal and an allocated place, and I am happy I could do it,” he said in an interview with ISSF TV. Cheema, who is going to attempt to get into the squad through selection tests, was not dissatisfied with the decision. “We got a quota spot for the nation; it was wonderful for Tomar because he got it,” he was quoted as saying.

Esha Singh and Varun Tomar

A quota spot does not always guarantee a spot on the Olympic team. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has implemented a rigorous selection procedure that includes many trials to guarantee that only the best shooters travel to the Games.

Three Indian shooters competed for the women’s finals. While Esha won the gold medal, Rhythm Sangwan placed third with 214.5 points and Surabhi Rao placed sixth with 154 points.

With eight quotas currently in place in rifle shooting and the men’s 10m air pistol event, India will be able to add to their total when further quotas become open in the 10m air pistol event, men’s 25m rapid fire pistol, and women’s 25m pistol categories.
So far, eight of the 15 quotas have been for rifle shooting, five for pistols, and two for shotguns. A country can qualify for the Games with a maximum of 24 slots, eight in each of the three events.

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