Ace Indian shooter Manu Bhaker will be among a host of athletes who will be participating in an international online shooting championship on Wednesday organised by former marksman Shimon Sharif.
With the coronavirus outbreak confining athletes to their homes, an elite field comprising about 50 shooters will be taking aim in their respective living rooms in a first-of-its-kind tournament.
All it requires is the shooters to have an electronic target setup, along with their mobile phones and an internet connection to stream it via the Zoom app.
"This competition is an effort to keep our sport alive even in these tough times," Shimon Sharif told the Press Trust of India.
Scheduled to be held on April 15, the competition will feature shooters like 2019 Delhi World Cup double gold medallist Veronika Major, Nicolas Fraga Corredoira, Emilia Faulkner and Lucy Evans among others.
"This one is only for the elite shooters but later we will organise competitions which will be open to all once every quarter with prize money," explained Shimon Sharif, reasoning that the initial smaller group will be easier to manage and monitor.
“It could be very motivating for a junior shooter to shoot alongside a world-class shooter,” he added.
The competition requires all the marksmen to shoot from their homes at the same time with the live streaming to keep it transparent throughout.
A panel of jury will also be available to monitor the event and keep a track of scores. Each shooter will have 40 shots and 50 minutes and will have to share their screens for the jury to note their scores.
There will be no categories for men and women and no finals either.
Keeping it sharp
With the ISSF World Cup scheduled to be held in May at New Delhi’s Dr Karni Singh shooting range now cancelled, shooters are looking at a long dry spell in the upcoming months.
However, with shooting ranges inaccessible to most Indian marksmen for practice amidst the lockdown, the shooters have resorted to dry firing at home.
The Indian sports ministry is even trying to get ammunition delivered to shooters who have a range available at their homes.
When and where to watch the International Online Shooting Championship
While the scores would be made available on the indianshooting.com, the live stream of the online championship should be available on its Facebook page from 4:00 PM IST. Olympian Joydeep Karmakar will be on live commentary duties for the competition.