NEW DELHI: Champion pistol shooter Jitu Rai, Rahi Sarnobat and P N Prakash have been recommended by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) for the prestigious Arjuna Awards this year.
The 28-year-old Jitu won an Indian record seven medals during a dream phase that started in June last year, the most recent being the bronze in 10-metre air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in South Korea last month.
Recruited in the 11th battalion of the Gorkha regiment, Rai clinched the gold medals at the 2014 Commonwealth andAsian Games and a silver at the ISSF World Championships in Spain, which helped him earn a quota place for next year's Rio Olympic Games.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Asian Games silver winner Sarnobat is the second athlete recommended from shooting sport.
Bangalore-based Prakash had won a silver medal at the Glasgow games last year besides being crowned Champion of Champions at the 58th National Shooting Championships in Pune last December. He had also bagged a bronze in the 2013 World Cup in Changwon, South Korea.
In the same tournament, Sarnobat scripted history by becoming the first Indian pistol shooter to clinch a goldmedal in a World Cup.
Sarnobat is 24 years old while Prakash is aged 39.
The three shooters are currently training in Maribor, Slovenia, preparing for the upcoming Rifle/Pistol World Cup in Fort Benning, USA.