Sanjeev Rajput, Shahzar Rizvi star in second online shooting championship

Olympian Joydeep Karmakar calls for more online competitions in the future for the sport to become relevant.

Following the success of the first International Online Shooting Championship, Indian shooters Sanjeev Rajput, Shahzar Rizvi and Amanpreet Singh impressed with podium finishes in the second edition of the tournament.

The innovative championship, an initiative by former Indian shooter Shimon Sharif, aims to help marksmen from several countries stay sharp amid the restrictions brought upon the coronavirus pandemic.

The second of the International Online Shooting Championship saw Sanjeev Rajput, Olympic quota holder in 50m Rifle 3 Positions, take the win in the 10m Air Rifle with a score of 252.6 to beat Austria's Martin Strempfl by 0.9 points in the 24-shot final.

Sanjeev Rajput, for whom air rifle isn’t a priority, fell short of the current air rifles 60 world record by just 0.2 points.

"I have not been shooting in (air rifle category) for a long time but after the last time I shot online, I practised for two to three days,” Sanjeev Rajput told Sportstar.  

“I just kept in mind what I had to do and that's how it happened. This time, unlike the last time, I finished 60 shots with good stability," he explained.

In the 10m Air Pistol, it was Shahzar Rizvi who took the win with a score of 241.7 ahead of 2017 World Cup Final bronze medallist Amanpreet Singh by a margin of 0.2. 

Lucy Evans of Scotland took the final step of the virtual podium.

Shooters participate in the championship by logging into the Zoom platform from their respective locations and shoot electronic targets set up in their houses, the screen for which is shared for the scores to be marked.

More online shooting competitions in the future

Olympian Joydeep Karmakar, who co-hosted Saturday’s shooting championship with Shimon Sharif, felt that with more backing there’s scope for such events to grow and get bigger in the future.

"The situation now shows us that technology is so vital to connect people. Shimon is currently doing this on a shoestring budget but imagine if this gets attention and a lot of complicated tech,” Joydeep Karmakar proposed.

“If you want to be relevant, you need to have more competitions. Why not a parallel system with the physical sport? It will give the sport the necessary impetus and the money as well," he elaborated.

The competition was live-streamed on the Facebook page of indianshooting.com with Hungarian shooter Peter Sidi, Shimon Sharif and Joydeep Karmakar on commentary duty.

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