Incheon: They were mostly off the mark in the recent World Championships but Indian shooters will nonetheless be expected to deliver a bagful of medals when the event kickstarts in the Asian Games here today.
Shooters from 34 countries are in fray at the Ongnyeon International Range till September 30, competing for a total of 44 medals in the individual and team competitions. In fact, the opening gold medal of the 17th Games will be decided in shooting.
The events will commence with the women’s 10m air pistol and men’s 50m pistol in which four titles would be decided today.
India culled one gold medal through Ronjan Sodhi in men’s double trap, three silver medals and four bronze in the last Games. But it would be a big surprise if they can better this haul or even equal it, in the backdrop of their generally poor form going into the 17th Asiad.
The burden of keeping the Indian flag high has fallen on man-in-form Jitu Rai, World No 1 in 10m air pistol and a gold medal winner in 50m free pistol at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Armyman Rai starts as perhaps India’s biggest medal hope in the Games, even ahead of the renowned 2008 Beijing Olympics gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra and another rifle-shooting ace Gagan Narang.
But Rai will definitely face tough questions today from the likes of Chinese World No 6 and defending champion Pu Qifeng and South Korea’s double Olympic champion Jin Jong-oh, who won the gold ahead of Rai in the World Championship.
Om Prakash and Omkar Singh will be shooting alongside Bindra for the team championship medals today.
. Women’s Team Round of 16: India vs Macau (05:30)
. Men’s Team Round of 16: India vs South Korea (09:30)
. Men’s 60kg Elimination Round of 32: Navjot Chana vs A Abdalla of Kuwait (10:30)
. Women’s 48kg Elimination Round of 16: Likmabam Devi vs K Mukaddas of Uzbekistan
. Women’s 52kg Elimination Round of 16: Thoudam Devi vs Khadka Devika of Nepal
. 10m Air Pistol Women’s Qualification: Shweta Chaudhry, Heena Sidhu, Malaika Goel (04:30)
. Trap Men’s Qualification: Mansher Singh, Darius Kynan Chenai, Manavjit Singh Sandhu (05:30)
. 50m Pistol Men’s Qualification: Om Prakash, Jitu Rai, Omkar Singh (06:00)
. Women’s Singles Round of 16: Joshana Chinappa vs Song Sunmi of South Korea (13:30) ; Dipika Pallikal vs Gu Jinyue of China (13:30)
. Men’s Singles Round of 16: Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu vs Almezayen Abdullah of Kuwait (15:30)
. Women’s Team Second Round: India vs Oman (07:00)
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