first_imgAn Olympic gold medallist, a world champion and multiple World Cup medal winners are among India’s 28-member shooting squad for the Commonwealth Games. That should give India a bagful of medals.Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra.Abhinav Bindra’s historic gold at the Beijing Olympics four years ago gave Indian shooters a shot in the arm. Today they are a force to reckon with at international competitions.Besides Bindra, the number of top-class shooters from the country is equally impressive-Gagan Narang, Ronjan Sodhi, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Samaresh Jung and the latest sensation and India’s first woman world champion, Tejaswini Sawant.Indian shooters have been a dominant force at the Games. In the 2006 Games, they won 27 medals, including 16 gold-comprising a large chunk of India’s overall tally of 50. Pistol shooter Jung, with five gold, was adjudged the best athlete.The firepower of the shooting squad is such that it can even do without defending champion Rathore, who skipped the last day’s trials held two weeks ago, and newly crowned Arjuna Award winner Sanjeev Rajput. Both have been dropped from the squad. Rathore’s berth went to junior World Champion Asher Noria.The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has put more emphasis on international competitions than spending time in unhelpful conditions in camps, starting with the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in February. Then there has been a series of World Cups ending with the World Championship in Munich.With medals coming in each and every international event, chief coach Sunny Thomas feels that Indians will dominate the shooting event at the New Delhi Games.advertisementlast_img