It was literally a test of fire for the Karni Singh shooting range as the machines stuttered to a start on the second day of the shotgun camp for the Commonwealth Shooting championship.

With high voltage blowing up the electronic circuits of the Laporte machines that throw up the clay birds, the technicians from the company had to replace the damaged parts from the machines in the other three ranges.

The administrator of the range, Manmeet Singh Goindi, said that three of the composite shotgun ranges became operational much to the relief of the campers who had to endure the non-functioning of the machinery on the opening day of the camp.

Eventually, 15 trap machines, three double trap and two skeet machines became operational, allowing the core group of shooters get on with their training.

”Basically the civil and electrical work is handled by the CPWD. The high voltage was possibly from one of the generators”, observed the administrator.

Very short time

National champion Vikram Bhatnagar said that he was happy to have shot two good rounds after so much of uncertainty and inaction, but remarked that the time on hand was very short, considering the current state of the re-built range, to be at one’s best performance during the Commonwealth Championship to be staged at the venue from February 19 to 27.

On the positive side, coach Marcello Dradi who looks after the trap and double trap teams had arrived and will be supervising the training session. The core group of shooters will be training in the morning and the range will be open for the other shooters in the afternoon, from Wednesday.

Olympic silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that more practice was planned from now on after the initial teething problems. He, however, stressed that it would take quite some time for the range to settle down, as work was in progress on various fronts.

The shotgun marksmen will also have to quickly gear up for the selection trials scheduled to be held at the range from February 8 to 12, for the forthcoming Asian Clay championship to be staged in Bangkok in March.

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