3 takeaways from Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan's performance in men's skeet day 1 at Olympics 2021

Angad Vir Singh Bajwa is making his debut Olympic appearance in Tokyo!
Angad Vir Singh Bajwa is making his debut Olympic appearance in Tokyo!

Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan took part in day 1 of the men’s skeet event at Olympics 2021. Of the 15-member Indian shooting contingent, these two shooters are the only ones to participate in the shotgun discipline. The remaining 13 shooters are taking part in either the rifle or pistol disciplines. Angad Vir Singh Bajwa is ranked 62nd in the world, while Mairaj Ahmad Khan is world No.24.

On day 1 of the competition, a total of 3 rounds took place. Each round consisted of 25 targets which were shot from 8 different positions. The other two rounds, along with the final, are scheduled for day 2 of the competition.

Angad Vir Singh Bajwa shot a score of 73/75 targets. His compatriot Mairaj hit 71/75 targets. At the end of day 1, neither of these shooters featured in the top-6, who progressed to the all-important final.

It’s for the first time that the Olympics has incorporated the new skeet format. In the previous editions, the 6 finalists had to again battle it out for the top-4 places. The gold medal and bronze medal match would then decide the podium standings.

Here are 3 takeaways from the men’s skeet day 1:

#1 Angad Vir Singh Bajwa is better placed to enter the final

The 25-year old Angad Vir Singh Bajwa is currently in the 11th spot. With 73 hits in his kitty, he needs to be clinical on day 2. His split-up for the 3 series is 24, 25, 24. If he shoots perfectly in the remaining two series, it’s certain that he will feature in the shoot-off for the final.

It’s a commendable performance from this Olympic debutant. Angad won two back-to-back Asian Championship titles in 2018 and 2019. What will keep him in good stead is his world record final score of 60/60.

#2 Mairaj Ahmad Khan didn’t perform as per the expectations

With 71/75 hits, Mairaj is listed at the bottom of the leaderboard (25th spot). It will be a little tough for him to stage a comeback given that he has missed 4 targets. His breakdown of the three series read as 25, 24, 22.

This is Mairaj’s second Olympic appearance. The 45-year old also featured in the Rio Olympics 2016 but couldn’t get past the qualification stage back then.

#3 Inadequate match practice hampering them

In the times of this pandemic, Indian skeet shooters have suffered the most. Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan decided to opt out of the recent ISSF World Cup in Osijek, Croatia. They were training in Italy around the same time and traveling to Croatia wasn’t a feasible option. Mairaj even tested positive for COVID-19 in the month of April and had to take an enforced break from training.

Read - Skeet shooter Angad Bajwa ramps up preparations for Tokyo Olympics!

Check - Mairaj Ahmad Khan, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa Shooting LIVE scores: India at Olympics men's skeet Live score, updates & commentary!

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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