Former World Champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu shot rounds of 25 and 24 to lead on 49 after two rounds in trap in the Indian Shotgun Open at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Thursday.
While Manavjit stayed two points ahead of Kynan Chenai, who shot rounds of 23 and 24, in the section without handicap, it was Randhir Singh, the Olympic Council of Asia's secretary-general, who stole the show with rounds of 24 and 22.
Not having shot in a competition since the 1994 Asian Games at Hiroshima in 1994, the 67-year-old Randhir enjoyed a handicap of 20, which put him ahead of the rest. In fact, Randhir had competed in Hiroshima just to help India make a trap team.
The fact that Randhir was third without handicap in a field of 137 shooters spoke volumes about the prowess of the six-time Olympian, who was the first Indian shooter to win the gold in the Asian Games.
Randhir could have been further ahead but he missed the last bird in the second round. With family and friends watching, Randhir shot with a strong rhythm, striking most of the birds with the first barrel.
The NRAI president, Raninder Singh, a relative of Randhir Singh, also shot in the same squad and had impressive rounds of 22 and 23.
“Let us see how things go tomorrow. I have cataract problems in both eyes, and one is very bad. I will get it corrected and shoot in the veterans events in the international arena”, said Randhir, quite pleased with his fare.
Randhir was seven points ahead of Raja Tondaiman, after the former National champion in skeet, Saravdeep Mann, had stayed second after the first round by four points, as he also enjoyed a handicap of 20.Shagun, Shreyasi on top
In the women's section, in which there were 16 in the fray, National champion and Olympian Shagun Chowdhary, along with former National champion Shreyasi Singh, led with 44. Shagun had rounds of 23 and 21, while Shreyasi shot identical rounds of 22.
Varsha Tomar was a point behind following rounds of 23 and 20, while World Cup silver medallist Seema Tomar was on 40. Randhir's daughter Rajeshwari Kumar could muster only rounds of 19 and 17.
The third and final round of trap will be shot on Friday, and the double trap competition will be staged in the afternoon.