Mansher Singh explains low scores in Shotgun World Cup

The coach of the Indian trap team, Mansher Singh, a very experienced shooter himself, having competed in four Olympics, ten World Championships and six Asian Games, was able to pin the reason for the overall low scores.

Mansher Singh, India trap team coach, said the target-throwing machines use lesser spin effect in Lahti and is different from what it is like in India.

Mansher Singh, India trap team coach, said the target-throwing machines use lesser spin effect in Lahti and is different from what it is like in India.   -  K. Ananthan

It was a different challenge for the shooters as they grappled with a distinctly different throw by the machines in the Shotgun World Cup in progress in Lahti, Finland.

The coach of the Indian trap team, Mansher Singh, a very experienced shooter himself, having competed in four Olympics, ten World Championships and six Asian Games, was able to pin the reason for the overall low scores, even by the best in the world.

In qualification, 117 out of 125 was the best score for men, and in the women's event, the 114 by Rajeshwari Kumari in the MQS section was the best score. The regular shooters in the women’s event could muster only a maximum of 112.

‘’The target throwing machines here are a little different in nature, as they throw with less spin effect. Thus, the targets are being pushed out, causing a very fast presentation effect’’, said Mansher, when contacted in Lahti.

‘’The weather and light conditions are varying throughout the day. The targets are also hard in nature, and some do not break at impact with the pellets’’, said Mansher explaining the situation.

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Now the Indian trap shooters have been left with only the last chance in the Asian Championship in Doha in November, in their pursuit of Olympic berths. The skeet shooters are yet to compete in the World Cup in progress in Lahti.

‘’It will be tough at the Asian Championship. Like last time around, when we won one quota at the Delhi event, it is well within our reach,’’ remarked Mansher.

Even though only one trap quota was won for Rio in 2016, the national federation exchanged a rifle quota place for a shotgun quota, which helped both Kynan Chenai and Manavjit Singh Sandhu to compete in the Rio Olympics. Skeet shooter Mairaj Ahmad Khan had earned the quota in style. He fared remarkably well to shoot 121 out of 125 in the Rio Games, but had to settle for the ninth place as he missed a berth in the final in the shoot-off.

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"I think the conditions were very tough and the score could go up and down very easily. Kynan’s performance was also up and down with a bad start and good finish. Bad luck with Manav breaking his gun. Prithviraj also struggled to adjust to the throw of the targets, as did the women’s team’’, pointed out Mansher, as he summed up the performance of the Indian shooters.

He praised the ability of Rajeshwari Kumari, daughter of six-time Olympian, Asian Games gold medallist and the former secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Randhir Singh, to adapt to the
situation and fire so well.

‘’Rajeshwari was able to adapt very well. This should help her in the coming months. We will be ready to win in Qatar’’, Mansher said.