Indian shooters look to shine in first ISSF World Cup after COVID-19...

Indian shooters look to shine in first ISSF World Cup after COVID-19 hiatus

  
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Angad Vir Singh Bajwa

A 13-member Indian squad will seek medals in the Shotgun World Cup starting in Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday as the the ISSF’s marquee event return after a break of almost a year due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The eight-day competition is the year’s first World Cup, beginning with skeet events on the opening day.

There will be 10 events in the competition.

As many as 191 athletes from 33 countries have entered the fray and for the first time, the women’s and men’s team competitions will be held based on the new team event formats declared last year by the ISSF.

The Cairo World Cup assumes additional significance given that this will be the final chance for the shooters to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics on the basis of world rankings.

For example, the current world number one in men’s trap, Mauro De Filippis of Italy, still does not have a Tokyo berth and will be looking to hold on to his ranking points with a good show to confirm his quota.

Sharing his thoughts from Cairo, Olympic quota winner in men’s skeet Angad Bajwa said, “It’s the first competition after more than a year and I am taking it like match practice before the Olympics. It’s much needed to get back into the rhythm.”

Mansher Singh, chief shotgun coach of the Indian team, said, “This is the first World Cup of the year and assumes importance after the lockdown because it should give us a good start to the calendar 2021. Being the first experience for lot of young shooters, I think it is important for them to learn from this event, as well as those who are going to the Olympics will also get very good training prior to commencing their final preparations for Tokyo. The training here is Cairo is going very well and smoothly. The conditions are good for shooting, the ranges are tough, so we expect the scores to be not very high. The boys and girls are happy with their training. The competition begins tomorrow and we hope to do very well, largely because of the long camps we have held. Separate preparations for the Olympics I think have helped the quota place winners as well to get ready for this competition. So we are all very excited and hoping for a very good result here.”

The Indian Men’s Skeet squad has Angad along with his senior Mairaj Ahmad Khan, also a Tokyo 2020 quota winner competing on Wednesday. Gurjoat Khangura completes the three-man squad. The Women’s Skeet squad features Ganemat Shekhon, Parinaaz Dhaliwal and Karttiki Singh Shaktawat.

The first final will be in women’s skeet and is scheduled for Thursday which will be followed by the men’s Skeet final on the same day.

The ISSF has announced that the 10 Finals will be broadcast live on their social media streams. The signal will also be distributed through the European Broadcasting Union.

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