In a much-anticipated return to international competition, a formidable 12-member Indian shooting contingent is geared up to participate in the prestigious International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in Doha, Qatar. The event, marked by a four-year hiatus primarily induced by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, promises a thrilling showcase of talent as the top 15-ranked shooters from around the globe vie for the title of Shooter of the Year in each of the 12 Olympic disciplines spanning Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun categories.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) revealed in a press release that the WCF, a shoot-out of unparalleled significance, will take place at the magnificent Lusail Shooting Range. The competition, which kicks off on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, will witness the first of the two finals featuring Sarabjot Singh in the men’s and Esha Singh and Divya TS in the women’s 10m air pistol. The action-packed event will be streamed live on ISSF YouTube and various social media platforms, starting at 8.40 am and 9.55 am IST, respectively.
Sarabjot Singh, a contender in the men’s category, expressed the gravity of the event, stating, “This is an important international competition happening after four years where the best Shooters of the year come together for a matchup. So naturally, I would like to perform well in the prestigious event.” Singh underwent rigorous pre-event training under the watchful eyes of coach Samaresh Jung, emphasizing the significance of the competition.
Esha Singh, currently ranked 10th in the world in women’s air pistol, shared her enthusiasm ahead of her first World Cup final, saying, “I am excited as this is my first World Cup final, and some of the top shooters of the world and of all time are competing. I will try and end the year on a high.”
The competition is fierce, with Sarabjot Singh facing off against world number one and Tokyo silver medallist Damir Mikec of Serbia, reigning world champion Bowen Zhang of China, Ismail Keles of Turkey, and Slovakian veteran Juraj Tuzinsky. In the women’s air pistol, Esha Singh and Divya will contend with formidable opponents such as world number one and Rio Olympic champion Anna Korakaki of Greece, Jiang Ranxin of China, and Serbian legend Zorana Arunovic.
Shotgunners Prithviraj Tondaiman and Ganemat Sekhon, competing in men’s trap and women’s skeet, respectively, hit the Lusail Shotgun ranges on Monday, beginning their qualification rounds on Wednesday.
The ISSF World Cup Final Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun, Doha 2023, boasts a total of 179 athletes from 12 countries. The final day of the event, scheduled for Saturday, November 25, 2023, promises additional excitement with three special events aimed at providing entertainment and a unique competition perspective.