New Delhi [India], September 17 (ANI): The 33-member Indian shooting squad is upbeat ahead of their departure for the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games. Members of the contingent, including the shooters, coaches and support staff, expressed these sentiments on the'media day' organised by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range (DKSSR) on Sunday.
The 19th Asian Games will be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou between September 23 and October 8 with the shooting competitions scheduled between September 24 and October 1, 2023. India will be in contention in 27 shooting disciplines at the games, including in individual, team and mixed competitions across the rifle, pistol and shotgun categories.
Releasing a Media Guide on the occasion, Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, Senior Vice President, NRAI, who has now assumed presidential duties, said the squad has just delivered one of the best-ever performances in a world championship with their showing in Baku, where Indian players won four Olympic quotas.
"I know that all the coaches and the high-performance team have worked very hard in the camp and have prepared our shooters well for the Hangzhou Asiad. We have huge confidence in our talented shooters and expect a very good performance from them in Hangzhou," he said. "The Government of India and in particular the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Sports Authority of India, have as usual been guiding and supporting us and the shooters in every possible way. We likewise also request our friends in the media to support the team like they always have, as we embark upon another critical assignment this year," he added. India have so far won a total of 58 medals in Shooting at the Asian Games, including nine gold medals. Raja Randhir Singh began the medal journey with a silver in the Men's Trap at the 1974 Tehran Games. Since then, India have medalled in Shooting at every edition of the Games, making it their third most successful Asian Games sport after Athletics and Wrestling.
In the previous Jakarta 2018 Asiad, India won a total of nine medals in shooting, including two golds coming from Saurabh Chaudhary in the Men's 10m Air Pistol and Rahi Sarnobat, in the Women's 25m Pistol.
The Women's 10m Air Rifle, is the first final scheduled at Hangzhou's Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre range on September 24. Ramita, Ashi Chouksey and recent bronze medal and Paris Olympic quota winner at the Baku World Championship, Mehuli Ghosh, will be carrying India's hopes on day one, which will also see the first qualifying round of the Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol get underway. (ANI)