On Wednesday,as Smit Singh finished the qualification round in the Second ISSF World Cup being held in AL Ain,United Arab Emirates,the Chandigarh shooter was worried about his score under the new rules in skeet. But a few moments later,Singh was involved in a shoot-off for the final with seven other players. Even though,Singh missed the finals with a whisker,the shooter did manage to better the Asian record in qualification of 123. The 20-year-old shooter,spoke to Sportline about his feat,plans for the season ahead. Excerpts :
Even though you missed out making the cut for final,you ended up bettering the Asian record in the second ISSF World Cup in Al Ain,UAE. Your comments?
I am elated about being able to do so. I was bit nervous ahead of the event as these are still early days in this season. But I was happy with my score of 123 out of 125 in the qualification round. It was unfortunate to miss the finals but thats how things go in shoot-off. The new world record in qualification of 124 was also made in the same event and that shows the level of competition.
Apart from being your best score,this is also the best-ever for an Indian. How do you rate this performance?
I have a mixed feeling about this performance. I am happy that this is the best performance by an Indian skeet shooter,but I didnt get on the podium. Having said that this is a good base for me. The confidence is high and I am looking forward to remaining two World Cups this year in Cyprus (in June) and Spain (in july). And the World Championships,later this year in Peru.
The rules have changed since the start of this year. Now,the spot shooting is over. How has the team adapted to them
We have been practicing under new rules. But eventually,practice cannot match real situations in competitions like World Cup. The new rules are the same for all the shooters and we need to play as many as many tournaments as we can before the big events. The coming year will be important for all the shooters like me. I shot a score of 116 under new rules in last months world cup at Mexico and it was my first tournament under new rules.
What are your plans for the coming months?
Last year I participated in the Asian Shotgun Championships in Patiala,which gave me enough exposure for the challenges this year. The silver medal in the National Championships also came at a right time for me. I will be training in Delhi for the next two months before I take part in the remaining two World Cups.
Currently there is no coach for skeet in India. How do you manage that?
I guess we will be soon getting a coach. Marcello Dradi,who is the trap and double trap coach,does spend time with us and give us some inputs. Most of us train along with each other and seek inputs from each other. But the coming year will see Commonwealth Games and Asian Games and we need a coach before that. These two events are big event s before the 2016 Olympics and I am hopeful of making it to the Indian team for these events.