After two days of rigorous training, the rifles will boom as early as 7 a.m. on Tuesday, as the organisers of the Commonwealth Shooting full bore championship have arranged for an early start to preserve the shooters and the electronic targets from oppressive heat.
After the 9 a.m. start for the 300-metre event on the first two days, it was decided to have an 8 a.m. start for the Queen's Prize competition. However, after consultation with the shooters on Monday, the organisers further pushed the start time back by an hour, even as they assured the participants, staying in the CRPF campus itself, that breakfast would be served as early as 5.30 a.m.
With the revised programme restricting competition to one distance each day, the action is expected to wind up as early as 11 a.m. every day.
The fact that shooters from England and Scotland have been trapped back home, unable to fly into India owing to the volcanic ash over Europe throwing air traffic haywire, will mean a reduced number of participants.
It would also mean that the competition will lose some charm, owing to the absence of these two teams, particularly the seasoned Parag Patel of England, a force to reckon with in the region.
Meanwhile, the Indian shooters were quite happy to train their sight on targets at 900 and 1000 yards for the first time in their career on Monday.
The host will field Major Amit Khanna and Major Praveen Dahiya in the Queen's Prize pairs and badge competitions, as was decided.
It will be too much to expect the Indian pair to strike a medal, but participation itself would be a success story for the Indian camp, as there was a lot of uncertainty about entering a team in the first place, owing to lack of experience and equipment.
The competition in Queen's prize will kick off with the targets at 300 yards on Tuesday.
In the pairs event, each pair will shoot on the same target, either one shooter after the other or alternately after every shot. The combined scores would count for the team.
Each shooter will have 10 shots over 300, 500 and 600 yards, and 15 shots at 900 and 1000 yards in the pairs event.
Each shot will have a maximum value of five points, and there will be 60 shots by each shooter.
However, in the individual competition, each shooter will have seven shots at 300, 500 and 600 yards in stage one, and 10 shots each over the same distances in stage two.
In stage three, each shooter will shoot 15 shots at 900 and 1000 yards. Each shooter will fire 81 shots in all, for a maximum score of 405 points.
Keywords: Queens' prize