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Rediff.com  » Sports » Chance for Vijay Kumar, Manavjit to seal Rio Olympics berth

Chance for Vijay Kumar, Manavjit to seal Rio Olympics berth

Last updated on: November 26, 2015 16:01 IST

Vijay Kumar, Heena Sidhu, Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Ronjon Sodhi will fancy their chances when Delhi hosts the final Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition, where 35 tickets to Rio will be up for grabs, from January 25 to February 3.

Vijay KumarIn a massive fillip to Indian shooting, Delhi will host the final Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition, where 35 tickets to Rio will be up for grabs, from January 25 to February 3.

The high-profile event will be the final opportunity for Asia's top shooters to book their tickets for the 2016 Olympics.

The final 35 Rio Olympic quota places for Asian nations will be up for grabs at the event, across the three shooting disciplines -- Shotgun, Rifle and Pistol -- and is slated to be held at the Karni Singh Shooting Range.

National Rifle Association of India President Raninder Singh has received a letter from the executive committee of the International Shooting Federation (ISSF) confirming the selection of NRAI as the organisers of the event.

"This is a huge honour bestowed on the country and our national federation by the ISSF and the IOC and on behalf of the NRAI we express our sincere gratitude, while assuring them that we will do our very best to deliver upon the faith reposed on us," Singh said.

"I must also take this opportunity to thank the Government of India, the Sports Ministry and the Sports Authority of India who have been always helpful and supportive in our endeavours as also in helping us make the winning bid. I hope also that this will act as a major boost to our talented shooters and spur those who have not booked their berths for Rio yet, even more," he added.

India, which already has eight Rio Olympic quota places sealed, will be looking to make the most of 'home-advantage' to grab as many quota places as possible to go better than the 11 they had won before the last Olympics in London.

The likes of Heena Sidhu, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Ronjon Sodhi and Vijay Kumar are some of the shooting stars who will fancy their chances at their home range.

"This event will obviously be much larger in importance and scale and hence the quality of competition will be several notches higher. India should be looking to put in an excellent show particularly because shooting has been India's second most successful Olympic sport ever and the most successful of this millennium," Singh said.

Image: London Olympics silver medallist Vijay Kumar

Photograph: Harish Kotian/Rediff.com

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