Former National champion Allan Daniel Peoples of Army led with 74 out of 75 on the opening day of the skeet competition in the National shotgun championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, Tughlakabad, on Sunday.

After two flawless rounds, Peoples shot 24 in the third round. He was two points ahead of the Asian champion Man Singh who shot 72, with a series of 23, 25 and 24.

The defending champion Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Baba P. S. Bedi were on 48 after two rounds, while Smit Singh (47), Parampal Singh Guron (46), Harinder Singh Bedi (45), Amardeep Singh Rai (44), Rahoul Rai (44), Rao Inderjit Singh (43) followed them among the prominent shooters in a field of 73 in the men's event.

With only three ranges in operation for the competition, with two others being kept for training and one having a defect due to a faulty circuit, it was difficult for the organisers to go through the quota of three rounds for the day. Thus, very few shooters managed to finish their third rounds, which would in effect mean, three more rounds on Monday for most, before the final.

No final

The women, just four of them in competition, were unable to complete their three rounds, as they were all bunched in different batches with the men. With so few entries, it was decided not to have a final in the women's event.

Rashmee Rathore was ahead with a score of 44, following rounds of 21 and 23. Defending champion, Saniya Sheikh was two points behind at 42, following rounds of 23 and 19.

Former champion Arti Singh had a bad start with a round of 18 but recovered to shoot 23 in the second round to be on 41. Shreiya Chowdhary could not make such a recovery as she shot rounds of 18 and 12.

The administrator Manmeet Singh Goindi was quite happy to present a clean range for the competition as the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had taken the initiative to press extra work force to ensure good hygiene in the vast complex.

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