Asian Games 2018: After winning silver, Shardul Vihan plans to switch event
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Asian Games 2018: After winning silver, Shardul Vihan plans to switch event

Double trap will not feature in Tokyo 2020 Olympics and so the 15-year-old shooter will have to change his event.

asian games 2018 Updated: Aug 23, 2018 20:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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Indian shooter Shardul Vihan celebrates after winning the silver medal in Men's Double Trap event on Thursday.(PTI)

Anwer Sultan, coach and mentor of Shardul Vihan, who won silver in double trap at the shotgun ranges in Palembang on Thursday, said his ward will switch to trap in the next few days.

Double trap will not feature in Tokyo 2020 Olympics and so the 15-year-old will have to change his event. “He will start his training in trap in a fortnight,” said Sultan.

Sultan has been a trap shooter for over two decades and also has years of experience in coaching and according to him the transition will not be much of an issue for the talented teenager from Meerut.

“He was a willing learner. In no time he was shooting amazing scores. He just loves sport.... running, badminton, table-tennis, you name a sport and he is good at it. But running is something he enjoys the most,” said Sultan.

Vihan will travel to South Korea for the World Championships in Changwon starting August 31 and take part in double trap, but it will be just for pride. The season’s first event of 2018 offers quota places for Olympics in other events.

Last year ISSF (International sport shooting federation) had decided to exclude double trap, 50m rifle prone and 50m free pistol events from Olympics.

It resulted in poor response in double trap competition in international events. Besides Olympics, double trap has been dropped from World Cup series as well.

However, it will remain in World Championships and continental competitions including Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

Another top double trap shooter Ankur Mittal who finished ninth in Asian Games, is also in process of switching over to trap. Mittal has already started procedures to import a weapon to prepare for Olympics. However, the Haryana shooter had raised concern over his transition from double trap to trap. “After training hard for eight years, I was able to reach the world level in double trap. It will be difficult to achieve outstanding results in trap by 2020,” he had said.

Former Asian Games champion in double trap Ronjan Sodhi said: “There is a huge difference in trap and double trap training. In double trap there are two clay targets and two shots, while in trap there is one target and two shots. The trajectory of target is different in trap which is tough to master. But it will be interesting to watch how many will be successful in making the transition.”

On the home turf, Sodhi believes competition will be more exciting than ever. “The biggest challenge will be to make cut for the national team,” he added.

First Published: Aug 23, 2018 20:58 IST