This has to be one of the unique landmarks in the history of online sports. At a time when no sports are happening anywhere in the world due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic – a serious online live international shooting championship was organized for the first time ever.
Around 50 top international shooters, including current and former world number one and two participated in the elite competition in which CWG gold medalist and Olympian Sanjeev Rajput clinched the top spot in the 10-metre air rifle while Shahzar Rizvi bagged numero uno in 10-metre air pistol events.
Republic TV caught up with Shimon Sharif, the brain behind organising the successful competition which was highly praised by shooters from around the world.
"At a time when no sports is happening anywhere in the world, this was an opportunity for all the top shooters and young aspirants to compete with each other on a serious note and at the highest level. The air pistol and air rifle shooters participated from their 10-metre range in their own home. The idea was to give them an international level competition. So there you can see your scores at a real-time online," Shimon Sharif said.
Shooters shoot at electronic scoring targets which are clearly visible through the app making the competition very transparent. There is also a panel of jury to monitor the shooters and a keep a check on them throughout.
"It's a private affair yet participating in a field of 50. The competitors got what they wanted. Though staying at home, they got a much-needed field to compete against the very best in the world. A lot of other shooters have expressed their interest. And we hope to hold many more events like this," Sharif remarked with great satisfaction.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spelled disaster for the sporting industry as countries across the world cancel or postpone tournaments and impose strict social distancing norms through lockdown to halt the viral spread. Over 3 million people have been infected with the virus worldwide while India is nearing the 30,000-mark. Tokyo Olympics 2020, which was previously postponed to next year, has chances of getting scrapped altogether.