Rudrankksh writes to NRAI, hopes to be inducted into Paris squad - Hindustan Times
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Rudrankksh writes to NRAI, hopes to be inducted into Paris squad

ByAvishek Roy
May 23, 2024 11:42 PM IST

The 2022 world champion lost his quota to Army shooter Sandeep who emerged as surprise winner of the selection trials

World champion Rudrankksh Patil, who narrowly missed the cut for the Paris Olympics during the recently-concluded selection trials, has requested the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) to consider him for selection on the basis of his consistent performances and podium finishes in major international events over the last two years.

An NRAI official said they have received his letter and will place it before the selection committee.
An NRAI official said they have received his letter and will place it before the selection committee.

"I have requested the selection committee to look at all my achievements, consistency, the number of international medals I have won in the last two years and consider me for selection," Rudrankksh told Hindustan Times.

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An NRAI official said they have received his letter and will place it before the selection committee. "We have received his representation and we will put it in front of the selection committee," said a top NRAI official. "The team will be finalised only after the selection committee meeting. We will have the meeting shortly," he said.

Though the trials have been completed, the NRAI selection committee will take a call on the final team. As per the NRAI selection policy, "NRAI reserves the right to amend the Selection Procedure wherever appropriate or necessary. Regardless of anything contained herein the decision of the Selection Committee of NRAI shall be final and binding."

Rudrankksh, the 2022 world champion and only the second Indian air rifle shooter after Abhinav Bindra to win a world title, was eliminated in the selection trials of 10m air rifle, finishing third. Four selection trials were held in Delhi and Bhopal and three best scores of the shooters were considered.

Army shooter Sandeep Singh, who doesn't have much international experience, stunned the field with a series of high scores in the initial rounds of the trials. He finished ahead of both quota winners Rudrankksh and Arjun Babuta, and Tokyo Olympian Divyansh Panwar, currently 4th in world rankings. Sandeep's best of three scores accounted for a final average of 632.87. Babuta managed to retain his quota (Final avg 631.47 pts), while Rudrannksh fell short by decimals (631.80).

"If you see my results in the last two years, I have competed in 13 international tournaments, and got into the final in 11 of them. I have won eight international medals (individual and team) during this time. I would not have requested that the NRAI had Divyansh won the quota place because we three (Arjun Babuta included) have been competing in international events, winning medals and preparing for Paris," Rudrankksh said.

"I have faced high pressure match situations in these two years and won medals. I have nothing against Sandeep but he has competed in very few international tournaments. Shooting consistent scores in a pressure situation is completely different. I feel I have a higher probability of giving a better performance than Sandeep at the Olympics," Rudrankksh added.

Rudrankksh was the first Indian to win an Olympic quota with a sensational performance at the world championships in Cairo in 2022. Then 18, he came on top of a world class field including reigning world and Olympic medallists.

At the world cup in Bhopal last year, he won bronze medals in individual and mixed team events. In the Cairo world cup he won gold in 10m air rifle and added another gold in the mixed team event. In between there was a dip in form. This year, he won two medals at the Asian Championships.

"When you are competing in international tournaments one after another, it is not easy to maintain the same level. I took a small break and recharged myself. It helped me get my focus back. This year in a meet in Dortmund in March I had scores of 631.6 and 633.5 and then won medals at the Asian Championships. So I think I am in good form," said Rudrankksh, who will compete in the Munich World Cup later this month.

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