jitu rai
Jitu Rai is a top medal contender for India in Olympics 2016Jitu Rai / Twitter

One of India's finest gold medal prospects in the Olympics 2016, Jitu Rai opens his campaign on Saturday at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro. The Nepal-born Indian shooter will feature alongside compatriot Gurpreet Singh in the 10m air pistol event.

The duo will start off in the men's shooting event qualification and if they do get to qualify for the final event, they will be expected to finish the event and bring medals for the country. Jitu, gold medal winner at the Commonwealth Games 2014 and the Asian Games 2014, is regarded as one of the best sports shooters in the country now. 

Jitu may be making his debut appearance in the Olympics, but many are expecting him to emulate what Abhinav Bindra achieved in Beijing Olympics 2008 -- a gold medal in an individual shooting event (10m air rifle). 

Jitu's colleague in the Indian Army, Gurpreet, meanwhile is also expected to put his best foot foward as he looks to making the nation proud. The double gold medallist in the 2010 Commonwealth Games has peaked right in time as he stood fourth this year -- his best-ever finish -- in the ISSF World Cup in Munich.

Shooting, just like archery, wrestling and boxing, remains India's most significant sport discipline that has the potential to land at least two medals from the Olympics. Therefore, expectations from the sport stays high every time.

Ahead of the men's event, Indian women shooters will also be seen in action in the 10m Air Rifle qualification event. Ayonika Paul and Apurvi Chandela, making their maiden Olympic appearances, will be looking to make India proud in their own way, on Saturday. Will they give India's first medal this evening itself? That remains to be seen.

10m air pistol men's qualification round is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. local time (9.30 p.m. IST, 5 p.m. BST) at Olympic Shooting Centre on Aug. 6. The final round is scheduled for 3.30 p.m. local time (12 a.m. IST (next day), 7.30 p.m. BST).

10m air rifle women's qualification round is scheduled to start at 8.30 a.m. local time (5 p.m. IST, 12.30 p.m. BST) on Aug. 6. The final round is scheduled for 10.30 a.m. local time (7 p.m. IST, 2.30 p.m. BST).

Where to watch live

India: TV: Star Sports 2/HD, Star Sports 3/HD, DD Sports. Live streaming: Hotstar.

UK: TV: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four. Live streaming: BBC Red Button.

USA: TV: NBC Sports. Live streaming: NBC Olympics.

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