India, who were expected to do well in shooting, are staring at the prospect of two straight Olympics without medals with only the men’s 50m event still to go.
For this particular event, Rajput won India’s first Olympic quota at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro in 2019, while Tomar secured the second quota at the Asian Shooting Championship in Doha later that year, which the Indian shooters dominated throughout.
However, the outing in the Japanese capital has proved to be a far cry from the shooters’ unprecedented show in 2019.
Barring Saurabh Chaudhary in the men’s 10m air pistol, none of the Indian shooters could make the finals in Tokyo, with some even failing to register competitive scores.
Now the onus is on Rajput and Tomar to ensure the team caps off the campaign on a good note.
While the 40-year-old veteran Rajput is appearing in his third Olympics, Tomar, 20 is making his Games debut.
World number two Tomar has enjoyed a good run of form in the run-up to the Games, having won the 50m rifle three positions gold medal at the World Cup in New Delhi in March and then making the finals at the World Cup in Osijek, Croatia, in June-July.
He also cleared the qualifying hurdle in the men’s 10m air rifle event of the same tournament.
Rajput, ranked six in the world, finished sixth at the World Cup in New Delhi. However, he was eliminated in the qualification stage of the World Cup in Osijek.