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Would new gun equipment 'backfire' for shooter Angad Bajwa at the Olympics?

Still not accustomed to new equipment, Bajwa did poorly in last outing-reduced body fat disturbed postures and gun control

angad bajwa shooting skeet tokyo olympics 2020

Angad Bajwa (Source: The Indian Express)


Eshaan Joshi

Updated: 29 Jun 2021 7:56 AM GMT

Improved fitness and superior equipment are often associated with better performances and results. However, this has not held true in the case of Angad Bajwa, who has seen a dip in his performance, post working on his physique and using new stock (butt) for his gun.

Bajwa holds a World Record in Men's Skeet Competition, which he created en route his gold medal at the 2018 Asian Shotgun Championship at Kuwait City, shooting a perfect 60/60. He had secured the quota at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by winning Gold at the Men's Skeet Event at the Asian Championships 2019 at Doha.

Since then, there have been numerous changes in the scheme of things for the Tokyo bound shooter; he has reduced his body fat by 1 per cent, and built up his upper chest. While this was done so as to be at ease with the heavy rifles, it has resulted in an impact on the stock of Bajwa's shotgun, which is an extremely customized part.

The results have not been very fruitful; the Asian champion finished 54th out of 112 shooters at the recently concluded World Cup at Lonato, Italy. This was preceded by a struggle on home turf in New Delhi, wherein he failed to make it to the finals.

While a stark contrast in performances due to a marginal decrease in weight may sound surprising, but in the case of shooting, a precision sport, margins cause all the difference. The body weight puts a considerable impact on the sighting and the equipment. The shooter's body, on many occasions, serves as a sighting aid. Bajwa who used to rest his cheekpiece on the stock of the gun on the side of the face he used to aim. A drop in weight made his face slimmer, which created a mammoth change in his sight of the target. The addition of muscles also changed the place where his gun used to rest originally. In addition to the rifle, a change in weight also makes a change in attire inevitable, which though an external factor, is equally crucial.

The process of getting the attire customized to new body dimensions, along with getting the stock changed is a cumbersome process. While the suits and trousers are majorly designed in foreign destinations, the stock takes close to a fortnight and costs more than INR 1 Lakh to change.

Bajwa, who has applied for a trip to Italy to the government and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), would look to replace his rifle soon, and as he has early said that all ultimately boils down to mental strength, would look forward to forget this chapter and focus to ply his trade at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

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