Expect windy outdoor shooting range in Rio: Anjali Bhagwat

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Mumbai, June 16: Going by her personal experience, former Commonwealth Games rifle shooting champion Anjali Bhagwat expects very windy conditions on the outdoor shooting range during the Rio Olympic Games in August.

"The 25m and 50m outdoor ranges will be very windy. I won my 2008 Beijing Olympic quota place in the Rio World Cup. It's the same range which has not changed. We just had the Pre-Olympic World Cup there. Everything is the same," said Anjali at the Star Sports channel's media conference to give details of its coverage of the August 5-21 Games.

Expect windy outdoor shooting range in Rio: Anjali Bhagwat

Anjali said Indian shooters could be more hampered by the wind as they did not have as ready an access to different types of ammunition as the European countries' shooters.

"Conditions are the same for everyone but wind matters a lot (for Indian shooters) and technically it's difficult for us as we don't have that much of advantage to get quality of ammunition unlike Europeans who have brands of various ammunition having different velocities.

"In windy conditions we try to shoot with lower velocity ammunition. But we have a limited access to these different types of ammunition."

Anjali, who won four gold medals in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, declined to predict about India's medal chances at Rio because of the change in rules after the 2012 London Olympics in which men shooters Vijay Kumar (25m rapid fire pistol) and Gagan Narang (10m air rifle) won silver and bronze medals, respectively.

"After 2012 the whole rule book has changed - from timings, from the procedure of matches and the counting. Earlier, in the three-position event we started with lying (prone), then it was kneeling and last was done standing. But now it starts with kneeling, then prone and then standing," said the 46-year-old rifle shooter.

"Plus the procedure for finals and the number of shots have changed. Earlier, only 10 shots were there in three positions, but now we have to shoot 15 shots each in all three positions. Every shooter has equal chance to qualify. Earlier the best shooter standing will only win, but now all have equal chances to cover up in the finals," said Anjali.

PTI 

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