At the Asian Games earlier last month, Indian shooter Anjum Moudgil had missed the final in the 50m Rifle 3 positions event. It was a great disappointment for the 24-year-old shooter from Chandigarh who had high hopes of winning a medal for the country.
Anjum took the disappointment in her stride and left immediately for Korea to participate in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. Putting up a sterling effort, Anjum went on to clinch a silver medal in women's 10m air rifle at the event the first medal by any Indian woman in the 10m air rifle at the World Championships on Monday, September 3. Shooting total of 248.4 points, Anjum redeemed herself and clinched an Olympic quota spot for Tokyo 2020.
"Missing out on a medal at the Asian Games was a disappointment but then it was due to one bad series. We came here on August 23 and it meant I could spend the last 3-4 day training at the 10m Air Rifle range. A medal here in the 10m Air Rifle event was one of the targets. I missed the final at the World Cup held here earlier this year but that helped me understand the conditions here," Anjum was quoted as saying to The Indian Express.
Anjum had won silver in the women's 50m 3P event at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico in March this year and missed out narrowly on another medal at Munich later. Incidentally, this is only the third time that Anjum reached the final of 10mAir Rifle event in her career.
The silver will now serve as a big boost to the young shooter as the ISSF premiere tournament is the first Olympic quota event for the Tokyo Olympics and a good performance here will hold her in good stead for the future. She would now need to practice hard in the months leading up to the Olympics.
Anjum's exploit, however, wasn't the only good news for India at the ISSF World Cup. Another Indian shooter, Apurvi Chandela, finished fourth in the event with 207 points. Chandela missed the medal by a whisker but her fourth place finish ensured another spot for India in the 2020 Olympics. The talented girl could make the cut because any country can avail two Olympic quota places in this event.
What was heartening was that both the girls shot very well; including quite a few high 10s. Interestingly, only Abhinav Bindra (2006), Manavjit Singh Sandhu (2006), Gagan Narang (2010) have previously won quotas at the World Championships for India.
After the success at the Asian Games, the Olympics quotas by these two girls have brought further good news for Indian sports and would inspire other sportspersons to follow suit.