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China pulls out of Asian shooting meet

17th Asian Games

New Delhi: Their eyes trained on next year’s Rio Olympics, China has decided to pull out of the upcoming 8th Asian Airgun Championship, taking some sheen out of the tourney to be held here from September 26.

Owing to the withdrawal, the tournament will miss out on participation of some big names such as current world champion and world number one in men’s air rifle, Yang Haoran, multiple Olympic medallist in men’s air rifle Zhu Qinan and current Olympic champion and world number one women’s air rifle shooter Yi Siling.

The Championship will be held at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range from September 26 to 30. In the last edition in Kuwait, China had topped the table with 25 medals, including 11 gold.

China had sent a strong contingent in the previous edition as Olympics were away, but with their preparations now focused on the Rio Games, they have decided to skip the event in Delhi.

To add to the disappointment, top pistol shooter in the world, Jin Jongoh of Korea, will also not be seen in action as the country did not register him for this competition. Jongoh is the current Olympic and world champion in men’s air pistol.

Not just that, all other countries, barring Kazakhstan and Iran, are not fielding their shooters who have qualified for the Olympic Games.

Of the 152 participants from 13 countries, India is fielding 48 shooters, including 13 shooters in the Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) section. The MQS shooters are not eligible for medals.

All the seven Olympic quota winners for India, Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Apurvi Chandela, Prakash Nanjappa, Chain Singh and Gurpreet Singh, will be seen in action.

India finished second with 19 medals, including five gold, in the last edition.

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