PUNE: The men’s 25m rapid fire event at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi this month gives a golden chance to all 15 participants to boost their chances of Olympic qualification.
India’s Anish Bhanwala and Vijayveer Sidhu (both 18) are among the participants in the tournament, which begins on March 18.
Ranking points earned at the World Cup here will go a long way in getting a ranking quota. The cutoff date for the rankings is June 6, the day when the European Championships concludes.
If the winner of the World Cup event has already clinched a quota, it will pass to the subsequent top finisher.
Anish is ranked No. 12 now and with 207 ranking points, only a gold could take him to the safer zone. The medals offer 1,000 (gold), 750 (silver) and 500 (bronze) ranking points, so anyone who wins the gold will also take the quota.
The ISSF was to announce 12 ranking-based quotas by May 2020. However, the Covid-19 situation has forced postponement of the Games itself and other fixtures in the shooting calendar.
The changed scenario has hit Anish hard. He was ranked 12th last May which would have been enough to grab him the quota. Now, he will have to work harder and win gold at the Delhi World Cup.
The Haryana shooter is struggling with his form and is seventh in the national ranking.
Chandigarh’s Vijayveer Sidhu, top ranked in the country, has a good chance to beat the not-so-elite field and win gold. It will be Vijayveer’s first senior World Cup.
India’s third entry Gurpreet Singh, who had participated in the Rio Games, also has a good chance.