Shooters-turned-hosts Shimon Sharif and Joydeep Karmakar believe that the second edition of the online shooting championship, which was held on Saturday was a success, as they have kept all the unavoidable technical difficulties aside that would surely have been accompanied in any online contest.
Sharif announced that the games would continue after the pause of all the sporting events due to coronavirus pandemic.
In the tournament, three Indians have made the nation proud, Sanjeev Rajput has won gold in 10m air rifle, Shahzar Rizvi who was the winner of the 2018 Guadalajara World Cup and Amanpreet Singh who have won a bronze medal in 2017 World Cup, have secured spots in 10m air pistol.
Rajput, who shot just 0.2 lesser than the current AR60 world record, has scored 252.6 to edge Austria’s Martin Strempfl by 0.9 points.
In an interview, Rajput said, “For me, air rifle is not a priority and I have not been shooting in it for a long time but after the last time I shot online, I practised for two to three days. I just kept in mind what I had to do and that’s how it happened. This time, unlike the last time, I finished 60 shots with good stability. Tournaments like these are helping us get our stamina back.”
Strempfl has also agreed about the training during the lockdown and said, “I am glad we can do this. I think it is the best training that I can get now and I feel very happy that I can do it. In Austria, I don’t know why we do not have competitions like these. But then again, I don’t want to miss the original World Cups too, so maybe we can bring it together.”
Karmakar agreed with the words of Strempfl and said, “The situation now shows us that technology is so vital to connect people. Shimon is currently doing this on a shoestring budget but imagine if this gets attention and a lot of complicated tech… maybe, a single server! It cannot be done overnight. If you see the yearly schedule, it is not enough. If you want to be relevant, you need to have more competitions. Why not a parallel system with the physical sport? It will give the sport the necessary impetus and the money as well.”
Jaspal Rana, the national pistol coach said last month said, “There is still some distance to cover as far as accessibility to required gizmo for markspersons is concerned.”
Rana further added, “Efforts were being made to courier shooting range simulators – SIUS Ascor’s electronic target systems – to allow India shooters to practice indoors during the lockdown.”
Anish Bhanwala, the pistol shooter received it only two days ago. Manu Bhaker and Mehuli Ghosh have just missed the online contest.
Mehuli said, “I think in the near future, online tournaments can be done. Everyone can get to participate from their home or range… wherever they want. For now, there are difficulties, but I am sure those issues will be sorted out and it will be a great competition to look forward to.”
Lucy Evans from Scotland finished third in the 10m air pistol and the only the winner of bronze medal thus far in the online shooting championship. In 1992, Barcelona was the last time when the female participant competed with male participants In the tournament.
By praising women, Anish said, “Women are stronger than us. They can compete with all their might and can finish with higher scores than us in the same event. So, why not?