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‘Technique key for trap shooters’

Italy’s Daniele Di Spigno has helped his ward, trap shooter Shagun Chowdhary, shoot consistently good scores.

other sports Updated: May 10, 2019 15:45 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
New Delhi
Shagun Chowdhary of India competes in the trap women's shooting qualification round on day four of the 2014 Asian Games match at Gyeonggido Shooting Range on September 23, 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. (Phot(Getty Images)

Handling pressure under “different circumstances” is the key to good scores in shooting sport, according to four-time world champion in double trap, Italy’s Daniele Di Spigno.

The 44-year-old, who won consecutive World Championships gold as a junior and translated that success at the senior level, says fundamental changes in technique such as “connecting the barrel with the flight of the clay target” and “changing the gun stock for minimum recoil” had helped his ward, trap shooter Shagun Chowdhary, shoot consistently good scores.

Di Spigno has been working with Chowdhary—a two-time Asian Championships silver medallist—since March 2018 and says stress management during competition is the core area of his training. “The progress is steady. Chowdhary is consistently scoring 23/25 in training,” says the Italian. Besides Chowdhary, Di Spigno also trains 30-odd youngsters in different age groups at the Manav Rachna Shooting Academy, Faridabad. “I am hopeful Chowdhary will match her training scores and qualify for the 2020 Olympics at the World Cup currently underway in Changwon, Korea,” says Di Spigno, whose competitive career spanned more than 25 years.

“What sometimes goes wrong with Chowdhary is that she switches back to her old technique under pressure. She (Chowdhary) used to be a bit slow connecting the barrel with the flight of the clay pigeon. Though she has improved, she tends to go back on her old technique at times. It has cost her vital points in big competitions. In trap, it is important to have a quick and precise connect,” says Di Spigno, winner of 10 World Cup gold between 1997 and 2017.

“In a highly competitive field, a score of 119 or above is essential to enter the six-shooter finals,” says Di Spigno. Chowdhary had scores of 116 and 115 in the previous two World Cups—Mexico (March 15-23) and UAE (April 5-16).

Besides technique, Di Spigno says he emphasises on two aspects in training—“how to approach a competition” and “how to manage a competition”. “It’s important to prepare the right way. Shooters tend to look beyond the visual range of flying targets and lose focus. They need to follow the path of the target more accurately and cut down on peripheral vision. It’s also important to keep the right balance between the clay target and sight of the gun, which can vary from one range to another because to the backdrop.”

Elaborating on his coaching philosophy, the former world record holder says, “Follow the right technique under all circumstances. My emphasis is mostly on basic technique, such as proper stance, quick barrel connect, wind speed, and studying the backdrop during practice sessions. This will help steady the scores under the most trying circumstances,” he adds.

First Published: May 10, 2019 15:45 IST