Picture Credit: X

Picture Credit: X

Indian athlete, Anush Agarwalla, who won the Asian Games medal in Hangzhou, China, has pipped compatriot Shruti Vora to qualify for 2024 Paris Olympics. The Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) on Wednesday, June 26 confirmed Anush’s participation at the upcoming Summer Games, where he will be featuring in the dressage event. 

The Indian athlete edged out close rival Shruti Vora on the basis of the superior average scores. Anush Agarwalla’s appearance in the 2024 Paris Olympics, marks a historic moment for India as it will be the inaugural entry at the Games in dressage category. 

Moreover, Anush’s selection over Vora comes after Agarwalla’s consistency in maintaining the Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) four times since the qualification began last year. The 24-year-old Indian horseback rider emerged victorious with an average score of 67.695 per cent, surpassing Shruti Vora, who finished with 67.163 per cent. 

“As per the criteria set by the EFI, a rider-horse combination is required to achieve minimum of 67 per cent twice between January 1,2023 and June 24, 2024 to be eligible for the Paris Games qualification,” EFI quoted in its release. “According to the EFI selection criteria, if more than one athlete is eligible then the athlete with the highest average in Grand Prix out of the best four events in the past one year shall be chose to participate,” the statement further added.

Although, Anush Agarwalla will be the first to represent India in dressage at the Olympics, previously Fouaad Mirza represented the country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Prior to him, Imtiaz Anees participated at the 2000 Sydney Games while Indrajit Lamba competed in the 1996 Atlanta Games.