Arjun Singh gave company to some of the leading shooters of the country at the top of the list with two perfect rounds of 25 in men’s trap in the 63rd National Shotgun Championships at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Wednesday.
On a bright day with a clear atmosphere, which did not discourage many from wearing the masks to avoid pollution, Olympian Kynan Chenai, former national champion Zoravar Singh Sandhu and the Khelo India Youth Games champion Manavaditya Singh Rathore, were also on 50. Two more rounds will be shot on Thursday, in the competition that is spread over three days, despite the use of six lay-outs, owing to an overwhelming number of entries.
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Competing in the same squad as former World Champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu, who was struggling on 46 following rounds of 24 and 22, and Commonwealth Games double trap silver medallist Shardul Vihan (48), the 25-year-old Arjun was quite confident in middling the targets.
Prithviraj Tondaiman, Adhiraj Singh Rathore, Aakash Kushwaha and Vibhu Sharma were on 49. They were followed by many on 48, which included the national coach Mansher Singh, former national champion Anirudh Singh and another young shooter moving from double trap, Shapath Bharadwaj.
Former Asian champion Anwer Sultan, the president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), twice silver medallist Raninder Singh, Bhowneesh Mendiratta, Vivaan Kapoor and Vishwa Kundu were some of the leading shooters on 47.
In Kynan’s group, Adhiraj Singh Rathore and Mohd Saif Sheikh had all shot 25 in the first round, but slipped in the second while Kynan stayed focused to be ahead of the bunch.
Manavaditya Rathore was the sole leader in the juniors, The competition will intensify over the next two days, as the shooters chase the top six positions to make the final from five rounds of the qualification phase.
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