At 15, Shapath Qualifies For World Cup: Country’s Youngest Athlete

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New Delhi: Indian teenager Shapath Bhardawaj has now qualified for the prestigious ISSF World Cup Finals for shooting.

Shapath became the country’s youngest athlete to figure in the government’s Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme, the 15- year-old, who clinched an individual bronze medal in the Junior World Cup in Italy last month. He will compete in men’s double trap alongside Ankur Mittal and Sangram Dahiya.

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The World Cup finals, the most prestigious annual tournament of the International Shooting Sport Federation, will be held at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range next month.

The Meerut-based Bhardwaj, a student of class 10, is among 45 elite athletes, including Olympic medallists PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Saina Nehwal, to be selected for the TOP scheme.

Bhardwaj attracted the attention of the shooting fraternity when he was selected for Indias double trap team at the age of 14 after selection trails in Patiala in November last year.

He represented India along with his senior teammates Ankur Mittal and Sangram Dahya in the ISSF World Cup, Delhi in February and then at the ISSF World Cup in Mexico in April where he secured 10th and 12th ranks respectively.

Bhardwaj participated in the ninth International Junior Shotgun Cup held in Finland in July and scored 137 out of 150 as India won the gold. He ended up winning the individual as well as team gold in the International Junior Grand Prix in Italy last year.