Gulfam Joseph became the first Pakistani athlete to qualify for the Paris Olympics 2024 after a stunning performance in the World Championship in Cairo on Saturday, finishing third in qualification behind the Chinese.
The 22-year-old has ensured at least one directly qualified spot at the 2024 Olympics, and he is now proving to be one of Pakistan’s most consistent athletes. He also qualified for the Olympics in Tokyo.
The championship event offered four quota spots, which are given to countries rather than athletes. Gulfam was an underdog in Cairo, with China’s Yifan Zhang and Bowen Zhang taking the top two spots in the first round. Gulfam finished third in the qualifying round with 586 points from 600 shots played over six series to finish third and secure a spot in the ranking round. Out of the 120 shooters in the competition, the top eight qualified for the final.
Gulfam Joseph has qualified for the Olympics for the second time in a row. Joseph finished 9th at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 after scoring 578 in the first round. He missed qualifying for the next round by one shot.
The National Rifle Association of Pakistan expressed delight at Gulfam Joseph’s qualification and expressed hope that more shooting athletes would soon confirm their qualification to Paris 2024.
Joseph has been consistently supervised by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and the country’s shooting federation. For the second time in his career, he is the recipient of an Olympic scholarship reserved solely for talented athletes.
“Exciting news for Pakistani sports: Joseph has qualified for the Olympics in Paris.” It was the first qualifying round, and he didn’t have to wait for the next one, securing his spot in the Olympics. “Congratulations to the shooting federation and Joseph on this achievement,” said POA President Lt Gen (rtd) Syed Arif Hasan.
He hoped that now, with two years at his disposal, he would emerge even stronger as a result of his extensive training. “We chose him for the scholarship for a reason, and he has proven that he is one of the most talented people around,” said the POA president.
Despite putting up a strong performance, Joseph was unlucky to miss the finals at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I am overjoyed to see talented Joseph make it to the Paris Olympics,” said Javed Lodhi, secretary of the National Shooting and Rifle Federation. “The mega event is two years away, and Joseph kept his cool to beat the best in the World Championship, which is a huge accomplishment,” he added.