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Elavenil Valarivan in, Chinki Yadav reserve as India announce team for Tokyo Olympics

Elavenil Valarivan won her first gold in the women's 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Cup in Rio. PTI Photo

World number one Elavenil Valarivan's inclusion in a 15-member Indian shooting contingent for the Tokyo Olympics at the expense of quota winner Chinki Yadav, who had claimed a gold in the Delhi World Cup last month, was the big talking point after the National Rifle Association of India announced the squad on Sunday.

To deal with the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the NRAI named two reserves in each discipline where its shooters have won quota places for the Games.

The quota won by Chinki in the women's 25m pistol would be swapped in favour of Anjum Moudgil, to enable her to compete in the women's 50m rifle 3 positions event as India's second entry alongside former World Champion Tejaswini Sawant.

The highly accomplished Manu Bhaker will be fielded in both the women's 25m pistol - alongside the experienced Rahi Sarnobat - and in her pet 10m air pistol event with Yashaswini Singh Deswal on the basis of the double-start rule.

The NRAI selection committee announced the names of the 15 shooters who will represent the country at the Games, scheduled to be held in the Japanese capital from July 23 to August 8.

The shooters were selected based on their performance in the NRAI's four-year Olympic qualifying cycle, starting with the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, which was followed by World Championships (both in 2018), all four World Cups and Asian Championships in 2019 and selection trials stage 1 and 2 earlier this year.

As per the NRAI's stated policy, an average of five best scores in an international competition, starting with the Jakarta Asiad, was taken into account while picking the final team.

Moudgil, who was the first Indian shooter along with Apurvi Chandela to earn a quota for the Tokyo Games at the 2018 World Championships, will also compete in the Mixed Air Rifle Team competition alongside Deepak Kumar as India's second team in the event. Elavenil and Divyansh would form the first pairing. Apurvi Chandela, therefore, competes only in the women's 10M air rifle individual competition.

Chandela and Elavenil will participate in the women's 10m air rifle event.

Chinki was named as a reserve in the 25m pistol event.

The quota belongs to the country and not the shooter who secures it.