Mairaj, Angad sit out of skeet trials


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6

Skeet shooters Angad Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad, who have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, gave the national trials a skip. The trials got underway at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges on Tuesday.

As per the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), “the scores of these selection trials will be considered for selection of team for ISSF World Cup, Egypt and ISSF World Cup, India”. However, NRAI had made it optional for those who had already qualified for the Olympics.

Both Angad, who is training in Chandigarh, and Mairaj, who is training at the Tuglakhabad range in New Delhi, chose to take the option as they were practically assured of a place in the team for both the Cairo and New Delhi events.

“I wanted to take part in the trials but after a long chat with my coach (Ennio Falco) I chose to give the trials a miss,” Mairaj told The Tribune on Wednesday. “My coach said I would not be under pressure when I already know that I will be shooting at the World Cups,” he added.

“Our goal is to do well and win medals at the Olympics so we want to test our skills against the best shooters, which will only happen at the Grand Prix or at the World Cups. Also, we were given an option to sit these trials out and we took that option,” the Rio Olympian added.

Gurjaot leads the pack

Meanwhile, Punjab’s Gurjoat Singh is leading after Day 1 of the trials with a total of 73 hits. Gurjoat, who was to make his senior team debut at last year’s New Delhi World Cup which was cancelled due to Covid-19, broke 24 targets each in the first two rounds and sealed his position at the top by breaking 25 targets in the third. Madhya Pradesh’s Arjun Thakur, Punjab’s Karam Sukhbir Singh and Ayush Rudraraj are close behind with identical scores of 71.

However, it wasn’t a good day for some of the India regulars. Former National Games gold medallist Smit Singh, who is representing ONGC, is 12th with 67 hits after the first three rounds. Sheeraz Sheikh, who is part of the core group for the Tokyo Olympics, is further behind with a total of 66 hits.



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