India have earned the hosting rights for the combined shotgun/rifle/pistol Shooting World Cup in 2017, and following the event, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) could also launch a bid for the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) Shooting World Championships in 2018.
The prestigious Shooting Championship is one of the four World Cups to be organised by the ISSF in the calendar year, and the World Championship will have as many as 70 quota places available for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
"We have got the combined World Cup in 2017 and if all goes well, we will be bidding to host the combined World Championships where there will be 70 quota places for 2020 Olympic Games," NRAI president Raninder Singh confirmed to the PTI.
The NRAI president has claimed that the sport of shooting -- which has helped India earn four Olympic individual medals in the previous three Olympics -- is in severe need of attention and a proper corporate backing is needed for the sport to prosper.
And for a change, Raninder said that he roped in Star Sports to acquire the telecast rights of the 8th Asian Air Gun Championships in New Delhi, which concluded yesterday.
"It's unfortunate that the tournament doesn't have a title sponsor and there is not enough corporate support," the NRAI president said.
"Shooting is a sport with tremendous mass interest and it is also the best medal prospect for India at next year's Rio Games. I am committed to make shooting a household sporting spectacle."
Meanwhile, Indian star shooters Heena Sidhu and Shweta Singh won the gold and silver, respectively, in the 10m air pistol event on the final day of the Asian Air Gun Championships yesterday, and and helped take India's medal tally to 17 in the event.
"Most of the time there was a lot of delay. I was taking a lot of time, that plays on your mind. Today, I was not happy with the way I shot in the finals, this was a lower finals for me," Heena, the first Indian pistol shooter to be ranked No 1 in the world, said.
"Pressure was there, you shooting at home and everybody watching you. But clapping doesn't matter to me. It's no distraction."
India won six golds (two in individual senior), five silvers and six bronze medals, to finish at the top in the tournament.
The focus now shifts to the Asian Shooting Championship, which is scheduled to take place in Kuwait in November, and it will also act as the last qualification event for the Rio OIympics in 2016.