The 10m Air Rifle events for boys and girls in the Khelo India School Games are likely to see some close contests at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges as some of the country’s best young shooters get ready to battle it out for two gold medals.
Hriday Hazarika (South Point School, Guwahati) burst into the limelight with his stunning performance in the 60th National Shooting Championship by making it to the final. Though, hefinished sixth in the medal round, his 60-shot qualifying score of 622.9 was enough to announce the arrival of a hot new talent on the national scene. In May 2017, he further stamped his class by sweeping three gold medals in the 11thSardar Sajjan Singh Sethi Masters Shooting Championships. He is ranked No. 1 in the NRAI’s charts for youth men and will be leading the charge.
The 17-year old shooter from Assam will have to deal with the challenge posed by Divyansh Singh Panwar (Maheswari Public School, Jaipur). Divyansh will be carrying the form that helpedhim to make a clean sweep of four gold in the junior and youth categories in the recently-concluded 61st National Shooting Championship in Thrivanathapuram.
Among the other names who could pose challenge to the two in-form shooters will be the likes of Lokender (Pratap Singh Memorial Senior Secondary School, Sonipath) and Parth Makhija(Manav Sthali School, Delhi). Both feature in the NRAI’s youth rankings for men. Lokender is currently ranked No. 3, while Parth is placed 10th in the list.
In the girls’ section, Shreya Bandyopadhya (Gospel Home School, Hoogly) will start as the clear favourite. Ranked No. 2 among youth women in the NRAI charts, Shreya won a gold in the team event in the 61st National Shooting Championship. Two other national ranked shooters, Chinmai (Padmawati Academy, Bareilly) and Muskan Kacholiya will also be in contention.