National shotgun championship: Trap shooters up for the challenge

It has been a hard season for some of the leading trap shooters like Manavjit Singh Sandhu, young Olympian Kynan Chenai and Prithviraj Tondaiman.

It has been a tough season for Manavjit Singh Sandhu.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

It has been a hard season for some of the leading trap shooters like former World Champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu, young Olympian Kynan Chenai and Prithviraj Tondaiman. Despite their sincere attempts, the Olympic quota in trap for Tokyo 2020 has eluded them all.

Kynan was particularly unlucky as he could not make it despite shooting high scores of 123 and 122. He led with 122 after qualification in the Asian championship but had finished sixth.

It may be a hard fact to digest for the shooting fraternity especially in the light of the fact that Raja Randhir Singh had competed in six Olympics in trap, while the likes of Mansher Singh and Manavjit Singh Sandhu have competed in four Olympics each. Asian champion Anwer Sultan had won the lone quota for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Regulars

Thus, Indian trap shooters had been regulars in the Olympics, even though they could not make much of an impact.

The trap shooters will attempt to pick themselves up from the disappointment and get back their competitive zeal in the 63rd National shotgun championship which continues here on Wednesday.

The historic trend may have got a pause, but there is no dearth of enthusiasm though, as there will be nearly 300 shooters competing in the men’s, juniors and veterans’ events, in 49 squads of six shooters each.

With such overwhelming entries, there will be only two rounds each over the next two days, and the fifth round will be shot on Friday, followed by the finals.

Many of the shooters who have returned to trap from double trap will be keen to make a better impression this time.

The women had done well with Rajeshwari Kumari setting a new national record of 118 out of 125, and Olympian Shagun Chowdhary following her with 117.

The onus will be on the men to make an interesting new beginning, possibly with the goal of asserting their class in the next World Championship.