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Posted at: Sep 12, 2018, 2:04 AM; last updated: Sep 12, 2018, 2:04 AM (IST)

No medal at Tokyo 2020, double trap guns to fall silent

Double trap shooters such as world champion Mittal, Rizvi must move to trap

Vinayak Padmadeo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 11

After the Asian Games and World Championships highs, the Indian shotgun shooters face a grim reality. They must switch to trap shooting to seek Olympics glory. Last year, it was decided that the double trap event would no more be part of the Olympics programme. 

In the space of two weeks, Indian double trap shooters made big headlines. Meerut’s Shardul Vihan, all of 15, won silver at the Asian Games. Then Ankur Mittal became the world champion at the World Championships in Changwon. The team comprising Mittal, Vihan and Mohammad Asab also won the team bronze.

In the junior category at Changwon, 18-year-old Ahvar Rizvi bagged the individual gold, plus team gold with Shapath Bharadwaj and Lakshjeet Singh Sindhu. Rizvi shot a phenomenal 141, one better than Mittal’s total of 140 in the senior final.

On return, they were given a big welcome, but they face a grim reality - they must move to trap competitions, starting from the National Championships in November.

Back to single

Mittal, who had also competed in trap at the Nationals last year, said he would start training fulltime next week. “I am proud that I became a world champion. All the hard work has finally paid off. But at the same time I am a bit sad that I have to leave this and switch to trap. I have been shooting DT for the last eight years,” Mittal said. 

“It won’t be easy but I take heart from James Willett, who switched over to shooting trap and won a quota for Australia in trap for the 2020 Olympics.” Willett was the ISSF double trap world champion in 2016.

No option

Rizvi, from Mahal in Uttar Pradesh, is targeting the National Championships as his first competition after moving to trap. “We don’t have an option, do we? We have to shoot trap. I have already started to shoot a little bit. I will start to train seriously from next week,” Rizvi said. “In fact I, Shardul and Shapath were in touch with a few of the seniors. Some said it will come back, others said it will not. Finally when it became clear that double trap will not be staged at the Olympics, the reality hit us and we were left with no option,” he said.

Bharadwaj, meanwhile, has already acquired the barrel and stock for his trap gun. He’s going to train under Andrea Miotto at his range in Pescara, Italy, from September 25 to October 11.

“It will be different... We have been trained to react to 15 double shots. The rounds get over quickly compared to trap. But we will have to cope with the change,” said Bharadwaj, who has already shot in senior competitions, including ISSF World Cups.

Vihan’s coach Anwel Sultan said the shift would be easier for the younger shooters as they’ve been shooting double trap for fewer years. “It will be harder for someone like Ankur and even Asab, as they have been shooting DT for longer,” Sultan said. “What will help Shardul is that during break from training, I used to let him shoot trap.”

Trap vs Double Trap

  • In Trap, the shooter has to aim at a single moving target, which is released from a mechanism called a ‘house’
  • In Double Trap, the shooter has to strike two targets which are released simultaneously from a ‘house’

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