Pakistani shooter Muhammad Khalil Akhtar becomes the first Pakistani to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, National Rifle Association of Pakistan (NARP) confirmed.
The 35-year-old showed great form in the World Shooting Cup earlier this year, which served as Tokyo Olympics qualifier, where he finished sixth.
KARACHI: Pakistan Army’s shooter Khalil Akhtar won a quota place for Tokyo 2020 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday, beating Indian shooters on his way. Khalil and Navy’s Ghulam Mustafa Bashir participated in ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol which ends on Tuesday (today).
Khalil scored 293 points (99, 98, 96) in the first qualification round and 293 points (97, 99, 97) in the second in 25-meter Rapid Fire Pistol event. With the score of 586 points, he qualified for the finals in which he scored 10 points to secure the sixth position. Khalil secured the Olympic quota since all other finalists (five) had either already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics or their representative nations had already achieved the maximum quota possible for the event.
He beat three Indian shooters as they failed to qualify for the finals. Adarsh Singh finished 25th, Anhad Jawanda secured 30th place, and Anish finished 19th with a total score of 577 points, the highest among Indians.
It is worth adding here that India has so far grabbed three gold medals, three silver, and one bronze. “This is great news. Winning quota place is a big achievement,” said Secretary National Rifle Association of Pakistan (NRAP) Razi Ahmed while talking to ‘The News’.
Razi said they had decided in a meeting some time back that they would not accept wildcards for Olympics this time and the only way would be winning quota places. “We made it clear in our meeting that we would go to Tokyo 2020 only by winning quota places. We would not accept any wildcard,” said Razi.
He said that Pakistanis shooters would participate in 14th Asian Shooting Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar, in November.
“We hope that we will win two more quota places in the Asian championship. This would be our last participation before Tokyo 2020,” said Razi. Khalil has become the top Pakistani shooter with the world ranking of 15th.
According to the world rankings by ISSF for September, Khalil jumped to 15th position from 33rd. Meanwhile, Bashir scored 286 points (98, 94, 94) in the first qualification round and hit 290 points (97, 98, 95) in the second. He scored 576 points to secure 20th position, beating two Indians.