There is rivalry in shooting too: Manavjit Sandhu

July 20th, 2012 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 20 (IANS) Trap shooter Manavjit Sandhu has said it is a myth that marksmen compete with themselves and don’t have a rival like other sports do.

“I have been asked this question many a time. In theory it may be correct but in practice it is not. I don’t know how this myth has come about. Because a shooter is always keen to know what his rival is doing. To tell you the truth every shooter wants to know the score of other shooter,” Sandhu, who is part of the Indian shooting contingent here for the London Olympics.

“To be honest, I am always keen to know how my rival is doing. Knowing the score of your opponent keeps you on your toes. For example, in 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, it was a tense team match, we were neck and neck with Kuwait and Lebanon and I was keenly observing how our rivals were doing so when I came last, I knew what I had to score and it helped enormously,” said Sandhu.

For Sandhu, it is his third Olympics in a row and he is better prepared for it than the Athens and Beijing edition. “My form was tentative on the last two occasions but here I am better prepared and at the moment in good nick. I have trained very hard in Italy before coming here.”

Asked about the role of a coach, Sandhu said: “Well coach does make a difference but at the end it is the shooter who has to perform.”

The tall shooter was of the view that a score of 121 out of 125 should be enough in his event to make the cut for the final.

He said the shooters from Russia, Italy and Australia start favourite.

“Previous records and statistics are not everything because they are meant to be changed and that is what happens usually.”

Another shooter Sanjeev Rajput, who is taking part in his second Olympics feels that in his event - 50m rifle 3 position - the field is fairly strong. Sixty shooters including world No.1 Nicolo (Italy) are in the fray.

Sanjeev’s best in this event has been 1179 which came in 2009 Munich World Cup while he shot 1176 in the last year’s edition.

According to him, a score of 1175 and above will be good enough to make the final.

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