London 2012 Summer Olympics – Shooting

Some facts surrounding Shooting games at the Olympics:

• The British won 43 medals in the game from 1896 to 2004.

• The mixed gender competition was abolished from the Games after 1992 (Barcelona). Zhang Shan from China if the only woman to have won a mixed-gender competition and that too, in the 1992 Games.

• One of the most successful shooters in Olympic history, Hungarian Karoly Takacs, suffered a career-threatening injury on his right arm from a grenade. He learnt shooting left-handed all by himself and won Gold at the 1948 and in the 1952 Games.

• Almost 2, 70,000 clay pots will be used in this year’s Shotgun event.

Shooting appeared in every Olympic event apart from the 1904 (St. Louis) and 1928 (Amsterdam) Games. Shooting was opened to women at the 1984 Games (Los Angeles).

This year at the London Summer Olympics, the shooting event will be held from July 28th to August 6th at the Royal Artillery Barracks. The history of the Barracks dates back to 1716 when a Royal Warrant was accountable for the building of two artillery companies. Surrounded by the beautiful 18th century architecture, the competitors as well as the spectators will be positively content with the serene beauty of the area.

A total of 390 athletes competing will be competing this season. Each nation can send only 28 shooters. The Indian contingent will consist of 11 players. Players like Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang are a part of the shooting squad for India. Others include Joydeep Karmakar, Vijay Kumar, Sanjeev Rajput, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Ronjan Sodhi, Shagun Chowdhury, Rani Sharnobat, Heena Sidhu and Annuraj Singh. Shooting is one of the events where the country is positively content and is expecting some good results.

There are basically two types of events that shooters encounter – Rifle and Pistol and Shotgun events. The shooters aim at stationery targets during the Rifle and Pistol competition and they aim at dynamic clay targets during the Shotgun round.

For Rifle and Pistol disciplines, the targets are at a range of 10 meters, 25 meters or 50 meters from the shooter. The target is a 10-ring board that they need to aim at. The shooters either needs to stand kneel or shoot from a lying down stance (prone) based on the type of event. The shooters have to be positively content with their skills to overcome all these obstacles.

During Shotgun events, the shooters aim for clay targets which are thrown either above or in front end of the shooters. Sometimes the shooters even need to aim for two clay plates at one time (double trap).

There is a range official to ensure all the events are safe and clean. To guarantee that everything is being conducted according to Olympic standards, an International Jury is also present. The players must have good skills and also nerves of steel. Their eyesight should be excellent and they should be able to judge and respond instantly.