Arti Singh Rao has been at the vanguard of women”s skeet shooting for a decade now. Dissatisfied with her performance and the system, she quit for a year. But within six months, she started “missing the action”.
On Thursday at the Karni Singh Ranges, the shotgun shooter came up with a performance of old to clinch the “pairs” silver with team-mate Rashmee Rathore in the Commonwealth Championships. “It”s a great feeling. I left shooting in 2008 dissatisfied with my performance and the system. I just wanted to shoot for recreation, but within six months I started missing it,” said Arti.
Arti (45/50) and Rashmee (38) aggregated 83 to come second behind the English pair of Nicki Brocklesby (42) and Pinky Le Grelle (42), who aggregated 84. “Last year, I finished eighth in the World Cup at Belarus, which set the tone for my comeback. No skeet shooter from the country has finished so high. I am thankful to our Chinese coach, Zhan Shan, who has worked wonders. Shan comes with a lot of experience and the fact that she beat the entire men”s field to clinch the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games gold gives us all inspiration,” she said.
But the chubby shooter is disappointed that skeet is not part of the Delhi Commonwealth Games. “The Commonwealth Shooting Federation (CSF) president, Graeme Hudson, feels that there are not many female skeet shooters. Many have come up in India in the last one year; still he thinks otherwise,” she said. Rashmee, who has been shooting skeet for the last three-and-a-half years, had a relatively average score. But the Hyderabad girl, a Masters in Finance, was happy to clinch her first international medal.
The Indian men”s skeet team of Mairaj Khan (92) and Arozepal Singh (93) bagged the pairs gold.