Shooter Manu Bhaker Secures 11th Olympic Quota for India
Published On: 30 Oct 2023 Updated On: 07 Nov 2023
Manu Bhaker secured the 11th quota for India at the 2024 Paris Olympics by finishing fifth position in the Women’s 25m Pistol Event at the Asian Shooting Championships in Changwon, the Republic of South Korea, on Saturday, 28 October 2023. Manu Bhaker, the Tokyo Olympian secured the top place in the qualification round by scoring a total of 591 points which paved her way for the finals. In the final or the medal round, she managed to score 24 points to finish behind the People’s Republic of China’s Liu Rui (37), Iran’s Rostamiyan Haniyeh (36), and China’s Zhao Nan (32), and Feng Sixuan (27).
The 2023 Asian Shooting Championship is a qualification tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympics event. There are 24 Olympic quotas offered including the top two finishers, one per nation in all of the 12 shooting events where the athletes can secure a spot for the national teams in the Olympics. Even after ending up in the fifth position, Manu Bhaker secured the quota as one country can only have a maximum of two Paris 2024 Olympic quotas in any particular shooting event going to take place in Paris 2024.
China had already secured one spot through Chen Yan in the Women’s 25m Pistol event at the Shooting World Championship 2022 in Cairo. The gold medallist from Saturday’s event in Changwon, Liu Rui completed China’s allotment in the Paris 2024 Olympic quota by securing the second spot. As a result, both Zhao Nan and Feng Sixuan were ruled out from securing a quota place for next year’s Summer Games.
Rostamiyan Haniyeh, an athlete from Iran, had already secured a quota spot in the Shooting World Championship 2022 in Cairo. Consequently, the remaining quota offered in Changwon was automatically passed on to Manu Bhaker despite her finishing fifth.
Sharing her thoughts on this, Manu said, “The aim was obviously the quota because there are few chances left to win them after this. So yes, I am happy that I have won the quota, but a podium finish would have been better. I have been working on a few improvements and I feel I am on the right track but will need to work even harder from here.”
This marks India’s 11th Paris 2024 Olympic quota. Out of these, five came from women. These athletes were – Manu Bhaker, Mehuli Ghosh, Sift Kaur Samra, Rajeshwari Kumari, and Tilottama Sen. Tilottama Sen secured a spot by winning a silver medal on Friday, 27 October 2023, in the women’s 10m air rifle event in Changwon.
Arjun Babuta (men’s 10m air rifle) and Sarabjot Singh (men’s 10m air pistol) have also secured Paris 2024 quotas from the Changwon meet. The athletes’ participation at the Paris Games entirely depends on the National Olympic Committees, as they have the exclusive authority for the representation of their respective countries at the Olympic Games. So, the participation depends on the NOC selecting them to represent their delegation at Paris 2024.
Meanwhile, Esha Singh secured 17th position in women’s 25m pistol and Rhythm Sangwan secured 23rd position by scoring 579 and 576 points respectively in the qualifying round. Despite failing to get qualified, both shooters along with Manu Bhaker won the silver medal for India in the women’s 25m pistol team event with a total score of 1746. China clinched gold with a score of 1760 points.
In addition to this, Divyansh Singh Panwar and Ramita secured a silver medal for the nation in the 10m air rifle mixed event. Both shooters claimed the top position in the qualifying round with a score of 631.1 points. In the medal round, the duo lost to the Chinese duo Han Jiayu and Yu Haonan in a match of 16-12 points.
Tilottama Sen and Arjun Babuta finished fifth in the qualification round with a score of 630.3.
Additionally, Simranpreet Kaur Brar also clinched a double silver medal in the Changwon shooting events finals. Firstly, she and her team, Megana Sadula, and Tejaswini won the team event of the Junior Women’s 25m pistol with a combined total of 1,728 points to finish behind China. Later on, she shot 28 points in the final medal match to clinch silver and finish behind Liang Xiaoya of China in the individual final who bagged the gold.
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