As we all know that the sports action has been halted due to Coronavirus pandemic. Fans and players get frustrated without sports. So on last Wednesday, the online international shooting championship was organised to unite fans and players.
With the success of the first edition of this online championship has encouraged organiser and former Indian shooter Shimon Sharif to make arrangements for second edition come on April 25.
“In fact, we are planning to host it every week now till the lockdown is there,” the Delhi-based marksman told Sportstar.
“The next day, the format will be much more viewer-friendly and engaging because we will have the elimination round. It will be exciting to see people moving up and down the ladder, complete with commentary,” said Sharif.
The competition was streamed live on Facebook had fetched more than 10,000 viewers. With no entry fee in the championship, Sharif was able to attract a total of 50 shooters from seven countries.
It included top names which included Hungary’s Veronika Major, who competes in both pistol and Running Target competitions, veteran Austrian shooter Martin Strempfl and Frenchman Etienne Germond.
“A lot of shooters were skeptical initially and were not sure about how things would go on and how transparent would it all be. After the positive response, I am sure, there will be many new names added to the list of participants,” said Sharif, who started shooting professionally in 1995.
Sharif wants to make game more realistic as possible as can. He said, “This time we will have an online press conference too. There is hardly any difference because shooting is not a contact sport. At the range, you do not get coached after each shot and you do not talk to anyone. At home, it is all the same.”
With live sporting action at a standstill, many sporting events like Formula One and chess championships have switched to alternatives in ESports and online gaming. Sharif feels an official online shooting championship might not be a distant dream now.
“It can obviously become a reality. The electronic targets are the same. You can even have shotgun events. The only difference might be that you have to go to a range to organise that and you can connect with someone in some other part of the world.
“There is not much (logistical) effort put into it. You just have to call some people and everyone logs in on Zoom. It was all done sitting at our respective houses.”
“With hardly any competition in 2020 shooters have shifted to training indoors. But they don’t train under added pressure. Shooting in your training sessions is very different from shooting in competitions. Our competition provided a good training platform. As they were also shooting with other top performers and knew that people are watching it, it created a match environment.”