Bull’s eye and the decimals in Air Rifle shooting

August 11th, 2008 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Abhinav Bindra
By V. Krishnaswamy
Beijing, Aug 11 (IANS)Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle shooting competition is bound to spark off a great deal of curious interest in the sport, just as Rajyavardhan Rathore’s silver medal did in double trap four years ago. In shooting as in archery, there is a bull’s eye, which fetches 10 points for perfection. While in archery, ‘Xs’ — dead-centre — break the ties, in shooting the system is a bit more elaborate.

The 10-point ring has within it 10 more rings and the points range from 10.0 to 10.9, the latter being ultimate perfection, which is how shooters have decimals attached to their scores of 100 in the final.

Bindra, who shot a 10.8 in his final shot in the final series of the 10m air rifle event, came closest to perfection with a 10.7 in the first of the 10-shot final. Then he closed the competition with that 10.8.

The 10 metre air rifle is shot over a distance of 10 metres (10.9 yards) from a standing position with a 4.5 mm (0.177 in) calibre air rifle which cannot be heavier than 5.5 kilograms.

The men shooters are required to fire 60 shots in 105 minutes.

Each shot can fetch a maximum of 10 points, the maximum being attained when a shooter finds the ‘bull ring’. Scores range from one point for hitting the outside zone, to 10 for a hit in the 10 ring (’bull’). If a shot hits the line between two zones, the higher score is awarded.

From the total field — there were 51 in Monday’s Olympic competition — the top eight move into the final.

In case of any ties for a place in the final, the berths are decided on a countback. Gagan Narang was tied at 595 with four other shooters, but got eliminated on the countback. The other four shooters had a better series of either 99 or 100 so Narang got left out.

After the qualifying round comes the final for top eight. In the final series, the 10-point ring is sub-divided into 10 score zones, with the highest score for a shot being 10.9.

The top eight shooters follow this with the final 10 shots and the cumulative score of both the rounds determines the winner.

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