South Asian Games 2019: An analysis of India’s medal chances in shooting

2019 South Asian Games

2019 South Asian Games will take place from 1 December 2019 to 10 December 2019 in Kathmandu-Pokhara, Nepal. The first edition of the South Asian Games was held in 1984. This will be the thirteenth edition of the South Asian Games and the third time that Nepal will be hosting the event. Nepal has previously hosted South Asian Games in 1984 and 1999. The countries participating in this edition are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. India is the sporting powerhouse of the region and is the leader of the overall South Asian Games Medal Tally.

2019 South Asian Games will see 26 sports being played, with cricket making a comeback after 9 years. Swimming and Athletics will have the most number of medals at stake. Shooting is a major sport in the Games and offers a good amount of medals as well as attract the crowd. There were a total of 77 medals at stake in the last edition of the tournament in 2016, including 26 Gold medals. Shooting events added 45 medals in India Medal Tally South Asian Games in 2016 with 25 Gold, 10 Silver and 10 Bronze medals. This time around, the shooting contingent will be hoping to emulate their success from the last edition. Shooting has been India’s one of the most successful sports in all the major events for the last few years. 

One of the major medal hope for India will be Kajal Saini. Saini is a rising star in the shooting arena and has come to the top level of the sport after facing a lot of difficulties. She won the Gold and Bronze in team event during the 14th Asian Shooting Championship held in Doha recently. She is currently undergoing training at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in Tughlakabad for the upcoming event.

Anjum Moudgil, Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan will also be India’s major medal hopes. Elavenil Valarivan closed the season as the World No. 1 in women’s air rifle. Besides this, Manu Bhaker will also be a medal prospect. She recently won the women’s 10m air pistol gold medal in the 14th Asian Championship. Manu Bhaker secured the Olympic berth at the Munich World Cup in May. Deepak Kumar, who secured his Olympic berth in the Asian Championship will also be a medal hope. Deepak stood on the third step of the podium in the Asian Championship. 17-year-old air rifle shooter Divyansh Singh Panwar won two gold medals in the World Cups at Beijing and Munich, fetching him the Olympic quota will also be a gold medal favorites from the Indian contingent. Air pistol prodigy Saurabh Chaudhary won two gold medals in Delhi and Beijing and a bronze in Rio. Although he failed to win the individual medal in the World Cup in China, he would be a top contender to win the gold in the Games.