Manu Bhaker and Esha Singh among 37 shooters lining up for Olympic Shooting Selection Trials

Olympic Selection Trails

The journey to the Paris 2024 Olympics has begun for Indian shooters, with the first phase of the Olympic Selection Trials (OSTs) taking place at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi. Manu Bhaker is amongst 37 marksmen and women competing in eight Olympic events, four each for rifle and pistol.

The trials, which started on April 19, 2024, and will conclude on April 27, 2024, are the first two of the four OSTs conducted by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). The selection process is based on the national rankings as of February 29, 2024.

Each of the eight individual Olympic shooting events will see five shooters, who met NRAI’s selection criteria, compete for top spots. The shooters will earn points from the selection trials, and the best three scores after four trials are completed, will be considered. Additionally, shooters who have secured an Olympic quota will have one bonus point added to the combined scores of their trials.

The Final Average Score (FAS) will be calculated by adding the best three scores from the trials and bonus points. Shooters will be ranked according to their FAS scores after the trials are over, and the available quotas will then be distributed accordingly to the top-ranked shooters.

India has already secured all 16 possible Paris 2024 shooting quotas in rifle and pistol events. Shotgun shooters have managed four out of a maximum possible eight but will have one final opportunity to secure more quotas at the ISSF Final Shotgun Qualifiers.

Manu Bhaker in action at the Olympic Trials

All eyes are on Manu Bhaker and Esha Singh, who are part of the first phase of the Shooting Olympic Selection Trials. Manu Bhaker, who will be appearing at her second Asian Games later this year, is the only Olympian in the field for the women’s sport pistol (25M) event. She will be challenged by the second quota winner Rhythm Sangwan, Esha Singh, Abhidnya Ashok Patil, and Simranpreet Kaur Brar.

Manu Bhaker
Manu Bhaker

In the men’s 25M rapid-fire pistol (RFP), Anish Bhanwala is the one to beat, given he has established himself as the undisputed number one in the discipline over this Olympic cycle. He will be challenged by Adarsh Singh, Bhavesh Shekhawat, and Ankur Goel.

The OSTs will follow the declared Paris Olympic schedule where the finals will happen the day after qualifications. The first final at the trials will be in the women’s 25M pistol and men’s 25M rapid-fire pistol on April 20.

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