first_imgShooter Mairaj wins Indias 8th Olympics Quota in mens skeet New Delhi, Sep 17 (PTI) Veteran Skeet shooter Mairaj Ahmad Khan celebrated the biggest day of his 12 year-long shooting career, when he clinched a Rio Olympic Games quota place for India at the ISSF Shotgun World Championship, being held at Lonato, Italy. The 40-year-old Mairaj, who started the second day of Mens Skeet competitions in 9th position with a score of 74 after the first three rounds of Qualification, but finished seventh with a total score of 122 out of a maximum possible 125, after five rounds of qualification missing a chance to qualify for the finals. However with all the top six having already booked their quota for Rio Games, Mairaj despite a poor seventh place was lucky to book a quota for his country. Given that all the first five shooters in qualification had already booked their Rio berths, Mairaj secured one of the two available quota places. The other quota went to Germanys Ralf Buchheim who ended his qualification round in eighth position with an identical score of 122. This is Indias first Rio quota place in the Shotgun disciplines. Delighted at the turn of events, Raninder Singh, President, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), said,”This performance and quota place gives me the most satisfaction as being a Shotgun shooter myself, it is very close to my heart. “What gives us all even more happiness is that the first quota in Shotgun came in Skeet, which has been traditionally one of our weaker disciplines. I am also immensely happy and proud of Mairaj, as all the hardships he has had to undergo all these years and the dedication and hard work that he has put in into his sport despite, is finally bearing fruit.” Noida-based Mairaj, who hails from the Ceramic City of Khurja in the Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh, had previously won a Team Skeet Gold at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. The other quota winners from Indias shooting squad thus far are former Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, Olympic Bronze medalist Gagan Narang, Pistol aces Jitu Rai and Gurpreet Singh, Prakash Nanjappa, Chain Singh and Apurvi Chandela. Indias next and last chance to secure Olympic quota places will come up at the Asian Shooting Championships in November, which are slated to be held in Kuwait city. PTI AH KHS KHSlast_img

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