Three-time World champion Abdullah Alrashidi of Kuwait will be the focus of all attention in the men’s skeet competition of the Asian shotgun championship at the New Moti Bagh Gun Club here on Monday.
The 49-year-old Alrashidi, who won bronze in the last world championship in Belgrade in 2011, had missed an Olympic medal for five successive Games since Atlanta.
The reigning Asian Games champion will be keen to add to his five other Asian titles. Saif Bin Futtais of the UAE, who had won silver in the Asian championship twice including last time, and had taken sixth place in the world championship, will be the other medal contender from abroad.
Man Singh, who shot an Asian record of 149 in winning gold in the last edition at Kuala Lumpur, will be ready to assert his class yet again at home.
There will be about two dozen other Indian shooters, including leading ones like National champion Allan Daniel Peoples and Parampal Singh Guron, competing in the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Memorial Indian Open Grand Prix.
In the women’s section, it may not be difficult for the two Indians — Rashmee Rathore and Saniya Sheikh — to win a medal, though the seasoned Arti Singh will not be present to lend substance to the Indian challenge. In the absence of the Chinese, 17-year-old Isarapa Imprasertssuk of Thailand would attempt to usurp the gold from the clutches of the Indian girls.
She had won bronze in 2010 and finished fifth in the last edition.
20-year-old Saniya Sheikh will try to recapture her form that had seen her win bronze in the Asian championship in 2008 in Jaipur, while Rashmee will look for the consistency she had shown last season.
Though there will be a total prize money of $10,000 up for grabs in women’s skeet, there are only five entries for the Grand Prix event, including Italian Simona Scocchetti, who had won the junior silver in the world championship in 2005.
The women’s competition will feature players from Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Thailand and a lone player from Japan, apart from the Indians.
Keywords: Asian shotgun championship