By Anuj Mishra
New Delhi [India], July 23 (ANI): Former India shooter Anjali Bhagwat admitted that it is "difficult" to pick an athlete as favourite to win a medal in the Tokyo Olympics, but didn't shy away from naming Saurabh Chaudhary and Rahi Sarnobat as the ones who can finish on the podium in the ongoing Games.
India will be fielding a 15-member shooting squad and this is the maximum number of shooters that the country has sent to the Games.
Anjali, the first Indian shooter to reach an Olympic final, said the consistent performances of the athletes will definitely result in Olympic medals in the upcoming Games.
"They have reached there, they are done with preparation. Throughout the fours years they have given consistent performances," Anjali told ANI.
"You can't predict what happens on the D-day so let us look forward to the best performances but definitely we will have to win a few medals in shooting.
"It's very difficult to shortlist the favourite ones but I'll still put my money on Saurabh Chaudhary and Rahi Sarnobat and in mixed team events all four shooters," she added.
Shooter Saurabh clinched a bronze medal in men's 10m air pistol at the shooting World Cup in Osijek in June. However, two days later Manu Bhaker and Saurabh settled for a silver medal after going down to the Russian team in the finals of the 10m air pistol mixed team event in the tournament.
Anjali, the former world number one, pointed out that Saurabh might have had tried different techniques in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup which could come in handy during the Tokyo Olympics.
"I don't think it was a dip in his standard. Maybe he didn't want to perform at the wrong time because the peak performance comes only once in four years," said Anjali.
"So he must have planned to perform at the peak in the Olympics. Or maybe he wanted to try some tactics or strategies and every time you can't win," she added.
Before signing off Anjali had some advice for the Indian shooters who are to feature in their maiden Olympics. "I would like them to focus on their techniques, detach themselves from the outcome, just don't think about the outcome. Focus on your technique, on your process and try to enjoy your performance. Being in that moment is the key," said Anjali.
India's shooting contingent:
10m Air Rifle Men: Deepak Kumar, Divyansh Singh Panwar
10m Air Pistol Men: Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma
50m Rifle 3 Positions Men: Sanjeev Rajput, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar
Skeet Men: Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, Mairaj Ahmad Khan
10m Air Rifle Women: Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan.
50m Rifle 3 Positions Women: Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant.
10m Air Pistol Women: Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal.
25m Pistol Women: Manu Bhaker, Rahi Sarnobat.
10m Air Pistol Mixed Team: Divyansh Singh Panwar/ Elavenil Valarivan, Deepak Kumar/ Anjum Moudgil, Saurabh Chaudhary/ Manu Bhaker, Abhishek Verma/ Yashaswini Singh Deswal.
Anjali Bhagwat will be part of Sony Sports LIVE studio show, SPORTS EXTRAAA, for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 from Friday. (ANI)