Rio de Janeiro: The Olympic-bound Indian shooters will be keen to get a feel of the ranges in the Brazilian city, hosting the upcoming summer Games, when they start their campaign in the ISSF World Cup commencing here today.
The Indian contingent will be led by Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra in the third leg of the International Shooting Sport Federation Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun World Cup. The events will be held at the very Ranges which will also play host to the Olympic Games in August this year.
The Olympic Shooting Centre, located inside the Deodoro Park, one of three venue clusters for the Games, will host 15 finals beginning April 16 with the men's 10m air rife kicking off the race for the medals.
Each day will have at least one final concluding with the men's skeet on April 24. India's 12 Olympic bound shooters -- Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Gurpreet Singh, Chain Singh, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Mairaj Ahmed Khan, Prakash Nanjappa, Kynan Chenai, Apurvi Chandela, Heena Sidhu and Ayonika Paul, besides Bindra -- will be looking to leave a good impression in front of the world's top shooters.
The field will include a galaxy of Olympic and World Champions as well as a host of current and former world number ones, many of whom would come back to compete with them at the Olympics.
India will also be fielding world number one in pistol ace Jitu Rai, who currently heads the world 50m pistol rankings. A total of 660 shooters from 88 countries have confirmed their participation in the tournament which will serve as a test event for the upcoming Olympics.
Indian squad: Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Chain Singh, Sanjeev Rajput, Jitu Rai, Gurpreet Singh, PN Prakash, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Zoravar Singh Sandhu, Kynan Chenai, Md. Asab, Ankur Mittal, Sangram Dahiya, Mairaj Ahmed Khan, Sheeraz Sheikh, Man Singh, Rajeshwari Kumari, Seema Tomar, Shagun Chowdhary, Heena Sidhu, Ayonika Paul, Apurvi Chandela, Pooja Ghatkar.