Shooter Vijayveer Sidhu clinches 17th Paris Olympics spot for India

I want to dedicate this to my parents, family and friends and of course to my coaches for the support, says Vijayveer

Vijayveer Sidhu (photo: @VijayveerSidhu/X)
Vijayveer Sidhu (photo: @VijayveerSidhu/X)
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PTI

India's Vijayveer Sidhu clinched a 17th Paris Games quota place for the country while winning a silver medal in the men's 25m rapid-fire event at the Asia Olympic Qualifiers in Jakarta on Saturday, 13 January.

The 21-year-old team bronze-medallist at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year, joins senior country-mate Anish Bhanwala in securing a Paris berth in the 25m rapid fire.

Anish had bagged the Olympic quota with a bronze medal in the Asian Championship in Changwon, Korea, last year.

Vijayveer did not have to wait for a medal to secure a quota place. He earned it by qualifying for the final in fourth place with a score of 577.

Four out of the six finalists on Saturday were eligible for quota places and the youngster, who hails from Chandigarh, did it in style by shooting 28 in the elimination round to clinch silver behind Kazakhstan's Nikita Chiryukin, who shot 32 for the gold medal.

"I am very very happy. We trained very hard in the camps and also after coming here. The range is quite similar to the Delhi (Karni Singh) range. I am not too happy with my qualification score and we know the areas we need to work on after we come back, but very happy with the way I shot the finals.

"I want to dedicate this to my parents, family and friends and of course to my coaches for the support," said Vijayveer.

Rapid-fire pistol is traditionally a strong event for India as Vijay Kumar had bagged a silver at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Before the 2020 Olympics, Anish had looked a strong contender to book a Tokyo berth but had missed out during the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi in 2021.

If both Vijayveer and Anish get the opportunity to represent the country at the Paris Olympics, it will be the first such instance in the rapid-fire shooting.

Indian shooters have so far bagged four Paris Olympics quota places in Jakarta, with Esha Singh (women's 10m air pistol), Varun Tomar (men's 10m air air pistol), Rhythm Sangwan (women's 25m sports pistol) besides Vijayveer nailing the spots here.

India are leading the charts with 12 gold, 10 silver and eight bronze medals, followed by China with seven gold.

Quota before medal for Vijayveer

Vijayveer shot 289 in the rapid-fire round on Saturday morning to total 577 in the qualification round. He finished fourth among the 31 medal contenders in fray to enter the six-shooter final.

Kazakhstan's Chiryukin topped the qualification with a solid 584 while Korean's Jong-Ho Song, who won bronze, was second and Japan's Dai Yoshioka was third. Two more Koreans made up the top six finalists.

Korea had already exhausted their two-quota limit in earlier competitions and the Japanese Dai was also a Paris quota holder before entering this competition. That helped Chiryukin and Vijayveer secure the two available Paris spots.

Sift, Ashi win silver-bronze in 50m rifle 3P

Asian Games gold medallist Sift Kaur Samra, Ashi Chouksey made it a silver-bronze finish for India in the women's 50m rifle 3P individual final.

Three Indians Indians -- Sift, Ashi and Olympian AnjumMoudgil -- had earlier entered the final with Ashi shooting 588 to qualify in fourth place, while Anjum and Sift shot 586 each to take the sixth and seventh qualifying spots. China's Miao Wannu was top of the pile with 589 in qualification.

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