MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University rifle coach Jon Hammond has announced the signing of Visnu Pandian to a grant-in-aid for the 2022-23 academic year.
A native of Noida, India, Pandian comes to West Virginia after a decorated junior career, in which he shot for the Ahlcon International School and his club team, Topgun Sports Academy, in Delhi, India.
“We’re excited for Visnu to join our team for this coming year, and we’re looking forward to guiding him on his college journey,” Hammond said. “We love to add people from different cultures, and India has had a very strong background in rifle in the last 10 years. Visnu will compete with our best in air rifle immediately, and I’m sure he will improve his smallbore during the next year in our environment.
“The fact he is also a U.S. citizen adds another component, and we will hopefully see him competing for the U.S.A. in the near future.”
At the high school and state levels, Pandian holds four golds and one silver medal, as well as the 10-meter Junior Men’s Individual Title at the 2019 UP State Shooting Championship. A pair of his gold medals came in the 10-meter Air Rifle U17 Boys competition at the Inter School Sports and Games Competition, which he won from 2018-19.
On a national level, Pandian won a gold medal in the 10-meter rifle event in the junior men’s foreign national division at the 64th India National Shooting Championship in 2021. Prior to that, he also competed in the 63rd National Shooting Championship in 2020, tallying a 628.9, and the 62nd National Shooting Championship in 2018, with a 624.4.
While at the 62nd Championship, Pandian earned both a silver and bronze medal in 10-meter rifle competitions.
In open competition, Pandian holds 10 gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal.
In 2019, Pandian was awarded the prestigious Khelo India Youth Games Scholarship by the Sports Authority of India for 10-meter Air Rifle Shooting.