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April 26, 2019

Bashir, Khalil a few steps away from Tokyo 2020

Sports

April 26, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s shooters Ghulam Mustafa Bashir and Khalil Akhtar are a few steps away from winning quota places for Tokyo 2020.

The shooters are participating in 25 metre rapid fire pistol category in a World Cup for rifle/pistol in Beijing.

In the first qualification round on Thursday, Bashir scored 294 points (99, 99, 96) to secure the 5th position.

Khalil scored 291 points (99, 97, 95) to grab the 12th position. The second qualification round will be played on Friday (today).

Bashir is Asian No6 and World No12 in this category, while Khalil is Asian No13 and World No30.

“They have strong chances of becoming finalists in this competition and then they will be able to win quota places,” said Javed S Lodhi, Executive Vice President of National Rifle Association of Pakistan (NRAP), while talking to ‘The News’.

He added that this is one of the best performances from Pakistan. “I am very happy and quite hopeful that one of them will win quota places for Olympics 2020. This will be really a big achievement for us,” said Javed.

The two shooters were denied visas by India for ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol held in New Delhi from February 20–28.

“They are way ahead of Indian shooters in this competition although India makes huge investments in this sport and arranges participation in international events for its shooters,” Javed said.

He added that Bashir had left a lucrative job in Qatar to train with the hope of winning a quota place in this World Cup.

It is pertinent to mention here that both these shooters are on IOC Olympic Scholarship Programme.

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