Indian trio of Deepak Kumar, Ravi Kumar and Satyendra Singh will vye for top honours when the first two of 10 gold medals up for grabs at the ISSF World Cup (Rifle/Pistol) stage four are decided, here tomorrow. The men's 10m Air Rifle event will see a staggering 129 shooters from 59 countries line-up to qualify for the eight- man final, while an equally high number of 122 shooters from 55 countries will compete for top honours in the women's event. The trio of Deepak, Ravi and Satyendra will represent India in the men's event. Both Deepak and Ravi made it through to the final of the event in first World Cup stage held in New Delhi in March, finishing fifth and eighth respectively. They would be looking to improve upon that performance and come back with a medal in an event, which has produced two Olympic medals for the country, including it's only ever individual Olympic gold medal. It will not be easy given five of the eight Rio 2016 Olympic finalists including silver medalist Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine, bronze medalist Vladimir Maslennikov of Russia, Oleh Tsarkov of Ukraine, the experienced former World Champion and multiple World Cup gold medalist Peter Sidi of Hungary and Illia Charheika of Belarus, as well as former Olympic champion Alin Moldoveanu of Romania, will be in the fray. The women's field is also packed, both with numbers and quality and Pooja Ghatkar of India, who won her first World Cup bronze in the event earlier in New Delhi this year, will again be leading the country's challenge along with Rio Olympian Apurvi Chandela. The young Meghana Sajjanar of Bangalore will be the third Indian in the fray. The event will see the reigning Olympic Champion Virginia Thrasher of the United States for the first time in competition after the Rio Games.
She will be challenged by the likes of Zhang Binbin of China, a Rio silver medalist in the women's Prone, Italy's Petra Zublasing, a former World Champion and finalists at Rio Daria Vdovina of Russia and multiple World Cup gold medalist Snjezana Pejcic of Croatia, among others. The opening day will also have the elimination rounds for the men's 50m Pistol event. Jitu Rai, Prakash Nanjappa and Amanpreet Singh will carry Indian hopes in the event. More than 750 top shooters from 80 National Olympic Committee's are set to take part in the Munich World Cup.
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