The domination of Kuwait may continue as the Asian shotgun championship moves into the trap competition at the New Moti Bagh Gun Club here from Thursday.
More than Kuwait continuing on the good work of Abdullah Alrashidi who won the skeet gold and Fehaid Aldeehani who won the double trap silver, it will be a challenge for the Indian shooters to regain their commanding role in the region.
In the last Asian shotgun championship in Kuala Lumpur, Mansher Singh had won the gold. However, the four-time Olympian does not find a place in the team this time.
The former world champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu had fought his way to a spectacular gold in the Asian shooting championship of the four-year cycle in Doha early this year, to secure his Olympic quota place for London.
With the competition spread over three days to meet the large number of entries, particularly in the concurrently held Maharaja Yadavindra Singh memorial Indian Open Grand Prix, it will be a challenge for the leading shooters to keep their focus and maintain their form for a long spell.
The 46-year-old Fehaid Aldeehani, who had edged out two-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Diamond of Australia for the bronze in the London Games in the shoot-off, will be out to add a medal from trap here. Kuwait will also have the former world champion Khaled Almudhaf, along with the world junior champion Talal Alrashidi in its ranks.
Add to that Naser Meqlad who had won the gold in the last two editions of the Asian Games, Kuwait has a heady concoction of world class shooters.
Hold your breath, Kuwait also has Abdulrahman Al fahan who had won the world championship junior gold in 2006 in Zagreb, and the Asian championship gold in Jaipur in 2008.
In comparison, there is not much to write about Prithviraj Tondaiman and Anirudh Singh who will fight for the Asian championship medals for the host along with Manavjit Sandhu.
The two-time Asian champion, 50-year-old Anwer Sultan will compete in the Grand Prix while Zoravar Singh Sandhu will shoot the MQS section along with Mansher.
In the women’s section, it will be a good chance for Shagun Chowdhary who had finished fourth in the last world championship to regain her confidence with a good fare.
Seema Tomar will attempt to regain her form that had seen her win a silver in the World Cup in 2010 in Dorset, Britain.
Varsha Tomar will be the third member of the Indian squad, while Shreyasi Singh and Varsha Varman will compete in the MQS section.
The Kuwaiti and Thai girls have already shown their firepower in skeet, and it will be interesting to see how they fare in trap.
On a bright Wednesday, everyone including the president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), Raninder Singh had a good training stint, to be prepared for the competition ahead. Olympic silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was busy guiding his son Manavaditya Singh Rathore.
Keywords: Asian shotgun championship