After Delhi skeet shooter Smit Singh took his college exams in May,the young 20-year-old packed his bags and flew to Italy. With the Indian skeet team failing to garner any quota place in skeet for the London Games,it is an off season for the shooters until the Olympics get over. Despite the disappointment of missing the London Games,Smit had been hard at work in order to prepare himself for future events and perhaps to utilise his spare time effectively. However Singh has had to return after nearly completing one month because he needs to collect an important consignment shipped from Italy his new and upgraded shotgun.
Singhs new weapon,the Beretta DT 11 is essential for him to adapt to the new rules of skeet shooting which are set to undergo a revamp soon after the current games. Rules change every four to five years and the changes that will take place after the Olympics will stay for at least until the 2016 Games, he says.
According to Smit,the major changes that are scheduled to take place relate to various positions from which the clay birds are released on the skeet range. Firstly,the distance from the center position will be pushed further two metres and secondly positions one and eight,which supposedly give every shooter an easy chance to score will no longer be utilised. In place of the two positions additional clay birds will be added to positions three and four respectively. And hence a big reason for shooters to revamp their entire strategies and equipment.
The new equipment he uses has a longer barrel and a tighter choke. Why we all have to change guns is because the distance is going to be longer than what we are previously used to. It will be two metres away from us. So for that,we need long barreled guns because the targets will be further away and we need more power and speed to hit the birds. Not only will we tweak our techniques a little but the angles from which we shoot are going to get more difficult, Smit adds.
We were briefed about the change in rules which is going to happen. So we have a lot of time on our hands to adapt to the new set up of skeet shooting. As after the Olympics,the Asian Championships are scheduled in Patiala,we are making sure that we are well prepared in terms of ammunition and the new strategy, says Singh.
While Singh hasnt yet received his new device,that hasnt stopped him from training albeit. Using his old weapon he is practicing on hitting the clay pigeons from the new positions. While he is still getting a hang of the range,his practice so far has been extremely satisfying for Smit. It is going to be difficult because not one thing will change,things will get adjusted in the entirety. The angles will be more steep and the barrels much more tighter to hit the aim with enhanced speed. I dont know if the speed of the clay birds would change but surely the angles are going to make a lot of difference, Smit explains.
With Smit keeping 2016 in sight,he insists on the importance of playing matches. I cannot afford to miss practice for even one day. Either I am in Delhi or Chandigarh,I make sure that I shoot. I am also playing club matches. I am sure the competition will get tough once the skeet rules change and scores are going to soar high. Although the tournament is in November,I have started shaping myself mentally, he says.