Rhythm Sangwan secures record 16th Olympic quota in Shooting

Rhythm Sangwan nailed a record 16th Paris 2024 Olympics quota place for Indian in Shooting

Jakarta, Jan 11 (IANS) Rhythm Sangwan nailed a record 16th Paris 2024 Olympics quota place for Indian in Shooting, winning bronze in the women’s 25m pistol, at the on-going Asia Olympic Qualification Rifle/Pistol here on Thursday.

The qualification world record holder, shot two rapid-fire series of 100 early in the morning at the Senayan Shooting range, to qualify for the final with a top score of 588.

She then had 28 hits out of her first 35 targets, finishing behind a pair of Koreans, who were ineligible for quotas in the event. That gave the world cup bronze medallist the first of the two available Paris quotas, with Chinese Taipei veteran Wu Chia Ying bagging the other with a fifth-place finish, behind a third Korean.

It also ensured India, would be sending their largest-ever Shooting squad to the Paris Games, overtaking the highest-ever 15-quota places won ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“It was really tough to miss out specially after making two world championship finals. But that’s the sport and guess it was waiting to be a special one, a historic one. I am very happy, especially with the medals we have won and I want to thank my entire team for the support,” the20-year-old shooter said.

Rhythm began the day placed fifth after the first precision round on Wednesday and if there were any doubts on her final qualification, she erased all with near perfection in the second rapid-fire round. Her 298 out of 300 propelled her to 588, three clear of Yeji Kim, the first of three Koreans to make the top eight. Simranpreet shot 577 to miss out in 11th place.

South Korea had already secured two quotas in the women’s 25m pistol from previous qualifying events. That meant that Rhythm would have to finish better than at least three of the four remaining finalists, discounting the three Koreans to ensure the quota.

The eight series of five rapid-fire shots began with Rhythm finding it tough yet again in the initial stages lying between fifth and sixth with two Singaporeans, besides Wu giving her a run for her money.

That changed with two consecutive hits of four in the fourth and fifth series, giving her a cushion over Wu and the Singaporeans, as Filipino Shayne Quiroz became the first to exit.

The quota was confirmed after the sixth series, as Teh Xiu Hong became the second Singaporean to exit in succession. It probably boosted her confidence as she outgunned both Wu and Korean Minseo Kim to claim bronze behind Jin Yang, who won gold and Yeji Kim, who took silver.

India also picked up a silver in the women’s 25m pistol team event and still top the table ahead of China with eight gold, seven silver and six bronze medals.

It all began in Baku in 2022, when Rudrankksh Patil and Swapnil Kusale won the first two Paris quotas with a gold and fourth place performance in the men’s air rifle and men’s 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) respectively in the world championships. The third also came in 2022 when Bhowneesh Mendiratta finished fourth in the Shotgun worlds to claim a quota in Men’s Trap.

Thereafter India won 10 quotas in 2023 across designated competitions, before beginning 2024 with three more in this competition. Varun Tomar and Esha Singh had earlier won quota places with gold-winning performances in the men’s and women’s air pistol.



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