When Delhi skeet shooter Smit Singh shot a 119 at at the senior shooting World Cups in Chile and Australia in March,he didnt just set a new national junior record. That mark was the minimum qualifying score for selection in the national senior team. Smit got a chance to compete for a coveted Olympic quota along with more seasoned compatriots Mairaj Singh and Man Singh.
Smit now has his sights set at the tournament for the next quota spot for the Olympics,at Maribor in Slovenia in July. At the same times,Smit knows that he cannot neglect his junior World Cups scheduled a week before the Maribor event. There is another obstacle in his path. Since he is sitting for his final year exams for his Bachelors degree from Hansraj College,there no time to train for the first junior World Cup in Germany.
I know it is going to be tough without practice but I cant neglect my examinations. But I suppose it shouldnt be a problem because I have been shooting really well recently, says the 20 year old. Once he gets over with Germany,he will head to Finland for the second junior world cup which should provide him another stern test before Maribor.
Smit says he is raring to go. While the rest of the skeet team shot shooting well below the medal winning mark at the Chile and Australia World Cups,Smit though seemed to have found his rhythm. Smit believes that his promotion to the main team will motivate him to perform for the country. Since the last few years,Indian skeet has come a long way and we are capable of making it. But the minimum standard to win a quota place qualifying mark is around 122-123,so we have to shoot really well.
Smit says that from now on,every World Cup is important to get a ticket for the Olympics but even if they succumb to the competition at the world stage in Maribor,there is good news. The European Shotgun Cup tournament in Belgrade event in August and the Asian Clay Championships in January next year gives Indians further chances to make the grade. Earlier,there was pressure to qualify with fewer tournaments,but this season we have lot more chances with us to prove ourselves. I am really looking forward to the Asian Championships at Doha as Indians are ranked quite high in Asia, Smit adds.
To prepare for the upcoming events,the team will undergo a training camp in Italy after the Maribor event ends. Smit though will extend his stay in Rome for another fifteen days to train under Andrea Fellippeti. It is very important to train in conditions similar to the match conditions. So I have decided to stay in Rome and prepare for important tournaments, Smit says.