A leading double trap shooter of the world, Hakan Dahlby, has questioned the National Rifle Association of India’s logic behind disqualifying four junior trap shooters from the National Shotgun Championship underway in Jaipur for using ammunition not conforming to the International body’s (ISSF) norms.
Three girls, namely Manisha Keer, Pragati Dubey, and Shefali Rajak, were pulled out before the finals, while the fourth girl, Delhi’s Kirti Gupta was disqualified in the qualification round itself. This reduced the finals to a farce with only three athletes — a total of six shooters make it to the finals — shooting for medals.
While disqualifying the shooters the national rifle association officials cited International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rule which says that the weight of the cartridge should not be more than 24.5 grams and pellet size should not be more than 2.6 mm in diameter.
Reportedly the pellets could not pass through the mesh used to verify specifications.
London Olympic silver medallist and many times European champion, Dahlby, wrote on a social networking website that, “I have never ever heard about a mesh used by ISSF Judges to check pellets roundness/dimensions?”
Dahlby incidentally is sponsored by Clever, the same brand used by the four disqualified shooters in the National Championship. Sweden’s double trap shooter wrote further, “I have been sponsored by Clever since 1999 and I have been checked many times and never there been any problems with the ammo, If it was to much lead I can understand or to much powder but the roundness and dimension?” he wrote.
“I’m using Clever since 20 years now, I’ve got silver at London Olympics and uncountable wins. Never got a problem. NRAI is goofing up.”
Dahlby also added a bit of suspense when he wrote that, “Something is very fishy! I wonder what ammo sponsor or distributor they have for the competition!” He added that the ammunition used (by the four disqualified shooters) was “Clever PRO Extra Evolution — 2.42 mm in size! And maximum size allowed in ISSF is 2.6 mm.”
This is perhaps the first occasion when shotgun shooters have been disqualified on account of the size of pellets.
“Till now all that one knew was that size really didn’t matter. It’s the number of pellets and the amount of powder loaded in the cartridge that matters. Clever loads the ammunition between 24 to 24.05 grams to be on the safe side of regulations” added Dahlby.
Incidentally at Rio Olympics skeet shooter Diana Bacosi of Italy and Croatian trap shooter Josip Glasnovic used the ‘Clever’ ammunition to win gold medals in their respective events.