Deepak Kumar, the silver medalist of the Asian games of 2018, celebrated his birthday in style as he secured Tokyo Olympic quota on the opening day of the 14th Asian shooting championship in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.
Deepak managed to settle for bronze in 10 M air rifle as he shot 145 in the final of the event on the tournament’s opening day. The 31 year old shooter, who also won a bronze medal at the 2018 ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico last year, qualified for the 8-man final securing the third place with a score of 626.8.
Deepak has become the the second Indian shooter to earn an Olympic spot this year after the 16-year-old shooter from Rajasthan, Divyansh Singh Panwar, booked his flight to Tokyo at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing in April.
The others who have already booked a flight to Tokyo are Anjum Moudgil, Apurvi Chandela, Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Sanjeev Rajput, Rahi Sarnobat, Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal.
With a total of 10 Tokyo quotas in rifle and pistol, India lie behind China with 25 quotas and Korea with 12 in the Asian region, besides the host-country Japan (12 allotted slots) in terms of quotas won.
The 10-day continental championship has 38 Tokyo Olympic quota places up for grabs and the Indian contingent of 63 men and 45 women, who are participating in senior, junior and youth categories across rifle, pistol and shotgun disciplines, will be aiming to book as many quota berths as possible.
A maximum of two Olympic berths can be won per event and therefore India will not be eligible for quotas in those events where they have already secured two quotas.
The Tokyo Olympics will start from 24th of July next year and will go on till 9th of August. India’s performance in the last Olympics in Rio De Janeiro was not impressive as they had finished with only two medals. They will definitely want to aim for more in the capital city of Japan.