Top shooters from India will fight for top honours in rifle and pistol events at the 61st National Shooting championships, which begins at the Vattiyoorkavu Central Polytechnic shooting range from Monday.

More than 4,500 shooters will take part in the meet; competitions will be held in Youth (Under-18), Junior (Under-21) and senior categories.

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The national meet is the season opener and the first of the series of trials which will be used to select the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the world meets slated for next year. Given the importance associated with the meet, all the prominent shooters of the country will be here in full strength.

The 61st edition of the meet will also witness, for the first time, the mixed events in 10m rifle and 10m pistol categories.

Koshy to lead Kerala challenge

A 110-member strong Kerala team will be taking part. The host team’s medal hopes rest on Elizabeth Koshy. Kerala, which won 14 medals in the last edition held at Pune, will be hoping to increase the tally, which its coach Vipin Daas expects it to do.

The championships is being organised by National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) in association with Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs and Kerala Rifle Association. It concludes on December 31.