Geoffrey Grenfell of Australia stayed on course for the title as he had another perfect day over 600 yards in the Commonwealth shooting full bore championship at the CRPF range in Kadarpur, on Thursday.
The Commonwealth Games champion in 1994, the seasoned Grenfell took his score to a maximum possible 255 after 51 shots over three distances.
Breathing down the neck of the Australian, one point behind, was the 34-year-old Gareth Morris of Wales. “I was a bit quick on the trigger, and the shot went down,” reasoned Morris.
“It is a good position. It is a lot harder over the long range. If you are one point or so away as you reach the 1000 yards, it could be anybody's game,” said Morris, who had won the pairs event in the 300-metres competition, along with Robert Oxford.
Being one of a handful to have shot a perfect 300 in the America Cup a few years ago, Morris knows that he has it in him to beat the best on his day.
David Calvert of Northern Ireland, Petrus Haasbroek of South Africa and James Corbett of Australia also followed the leader one point behind at 254, suggesting a lively climax when the competition shifts to 900 and 1000 yards over the next two days.
In the Queen's prize pairs competition, Jan Jonck and Petrus Haasbroek of South Africa led with 299 out of 300 points. It was the latter who dropped a point.
New Zealand was also on 299, while Australia was on 298.
The Indian team suffered a jolt following a problem with the ‘sight', which had to be manually clamped again during the competition. It meant precious loss of time, and Major Praveen Dahiya could score only 34, a sharp fall from a perfect 50 the previous day.
However, Major Amit Khanna stayed steady, and despite very little time, could return a score of 47.
“After seeing Dahiya start with scores of 2, 3 and slowly reach 5, I was nervous at the start of my turn. I was also determined to shoot above 45. I am happy to shoot 47, after 44 yesterday which was also owing to shortage of time,” said Major Khanna who shoots with the same borrowed rifle by turn with his partner.
India was eighth with 270, while Wales was above it at 293, two points behind Malaysia, Jersey and Northern Ireland.
Quite possibly the Welsh are preserving their best for the individual event, in which 15 shots will be fired on the target at 900 yards on Friday.
The Indian pair was candid enough to admit that the difference between the experienced and the novice may show when the targets are aimed at 900 and 1000 yards.
Keywords: Commonwealth shooting