Controversy over flash targets at the Para Shooting World Cup Trap Finals

flash targets deemed unfit by the jury

The World Shooting Para Sports (WSPS) Para Shooting World Cup, hosted in India for the first time, was marred by controversy due to an issue with the flash targets used in the trap finals. The event, held at the Karni Singh Ranges, saw participation from over 250 shooters from 50 countries.

Flash targets, which explode on impact and emit a thick plume of pink colour, are used in almost every international competition finals, including the Olympics, ISSF World Cup, World Championships, continental championships, and even in India’s national championships and trials. They are preferred because they reduce judgment errors to a bare minimum.

Flash Targets deemed unfit by the Jury

However, during the prestigious WSPS Para World Cup trap events, the flash targets had to be discarded by the foreign jury as they were deemed unfit for competition. This led to a significant embarrassment for India in front of the international shooting community.

A range official at the Karni Singh Ranges revealed that the juries were furious and asked all the “target throwing machines to be emptied immediately of flash targets and replaced with ordinary target clay pigeons”. This created a lot of commotion.

Despite the controversy, the competition began on time, thanks to the swift action of 25-30 range officials and others who knew something about trap shooting. They managed to replace the flash targets with ordinary targets, which are typically used in the qualification round, within 10 minutes.

The international jury was reportedly “furious,” but since India was hosting the prestigious Para World Cup for the first time, they did not file a complaint. The World Shooting Para Sports (WSPS) senior manager Tyler Anderson, who was also present in New Delhi for the competition, did not comment on the issue.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) secretary Rajiv Bhatia stated that the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) had bought 15 cartons of flash targets from the federation. He assured that they had not provided poor quality or expired targets.

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