A sport that needs precision and focus, shooting has been a tent discipline at the Olympic Games.
Shooting was one of the nine original sports that the organizers included in the 1896 Athens Olympic Games. The Olympic shooting didn’t feature at St Louis 1904 and Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games. But has been at all other Summer Games.
The organizers added separate events for women to the shooting sport during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) governs shooting.
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Freshly, Indian shooting has been equally successful in shooting at the Olympics. Indian gunmen won four medals at three repeated Games between 2004 and 2012. Abhinav Bindra became the nation’s first individual gold medal winner at Beijing 2008. Although the sport keeps shooters mostly confined to one place during competitions, it is still mentally and physically challenging.
“For a layperson, when he sees a shooter, he reflects. There is no physical energy,” Athens 2004 Olympian Suma Shirur told Firstpost. “But in truth, there is a lot of energy.
Because the most natural part of the human body is movement. If I have to control the movement and hold my body fixed. The same place for a long period of muscle stamina. That wants a lot of strength. For that, you need to have decent fitness – Suma Shirur
Gun specifications for Olympic shooting
Olympic shooting features three types of guns Rifle, pistol, and shotgun. In rifle and pistol events, sportspersons shoot at still targets at inside shooting ranges.
The organizers arrange shooting at set distances of 10m, 25m, and 50m for all shooting events, including shotgun shooting which is conducted outdoors with targets launched into the air. Athletes targeting for a bullseye on a paper aim or fly ‘clays’ in the shotgun.
The pistol used in the 10m Air Pistol event is a single-loaded 4.5-millimeter caliber. While the one used in the 25m events is a Speedy Pistol in 5.6 calibers with a five-shot magazine. The shotgun is a 12-gauge having a caliber of 18.5-millimeters. A gauge is a unit of measurement for guns. In a shotgun, the gauge is measured by the number of equally-weighing sphere-shaped balls. Made from a pound of lead, that can be fit inside the gun barrel.
Olympic Shooting gear and equipment
Shooters use different jackets or coats to provide stability while they shoot. The surface of these special jackets is non-slippery and thus, guarantees a better grip, especially for rifle shooters. The extra stuffing inside these jackets disproves the effects of recoil, helping shooters advance their precision. The stuffing on the elbows provides a stable base, which is critical for rifle shooters in the prone position.
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Blinders are used to improve focus . And block objects from distracting their vision. One front blinder of a prescribed width is allowed for shooters. Only shotgun athletes are permitted to wear side .
Types of Olympic shooting events And Rules
Shooting at Athens in 1896 consisted of only five events, but the discipline has since grown up in stature at the Olympic Games. At Tokyo 2020, it featured 15 rifles, pistols, and shotgun events — covering men and women. In rifle shooting, sportspersons fire at a target with 10 concentrical circles at a fixed distance. 50m Rifle 3 Positions and 10m Air Rifle.
10m Air Rifle
Shooters fire 60 shots at the mark within a timeframe of one hour and 15 minutes, subsequent which, the eight highest-scoring shooters battle it out for the medals.
50m Rifle 3 Positions
Athletes shoot at the target from 3 positions: kneeling, prone, and standing. Each participant fires 40 shots in each of the three said positions within a timeframe of two hours and 45 minutes. The 8 highest-scoring firearms move on to the medal round.
In addition to the men’s and women’s Olympic shooting categories, the 10m Air Rifle also features a mixed team event containing one male and one female contestant. Each team member fires 40 shots at the target within 50 minutes in the qualification round, after which five teams qualify for the final round.
Pistol: Events and shooting rules
25m Rapid Fire Pistol: This is a men’s only event where shooters have to fire shots successively over short periods of 8, 6, and 4 seconds. The qualification round features two rounds of 30 shots each. Eight shooters with the best score succeed in the medal round. 25m Pistol is a women’s-only event, and like the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event, features two qualifying rounds of 30 shots each.
10m Air Pistol
The rules of this event are a replica of the 10m Air Rifle. It features a men’s, women’s, and mixed team category. Shooters in the solo classes fire 60 shots within a timeframe of one hour and 15 minutes before the top-eight move on to the medal round. In the mixed team event, each team fellow fired 40 shots and the five top-scoring teams shot it out for the overall honors.
Skeet and Trap are two scatter gun events where athletes fire at an object that is about measuring just 10cm in diameter known as ‘clay’ flying at over 100kph. While both events feature the men’s and women’s categories, Trap also has a mixed-team event. Both participants fire at clay targets from 8 changed spots, each known as a ‘station’. The clays fly in from two spots, one on the left and one more on the right end of the shooting range.
“Marks” is the term used to refer to the clay targets that are launched into the air from the trap house on the left. Which is also known as the high house. The trap house on the right is known as the low house . Athletes take 25 shots each in five rounds over three days and the six best shooters move on to the medal round.
Shooters fire at clays thrown in front of them from five different positions. The preliminary round of the men’s and women’s events is similar to that of Skeet. In the Trap mixed team event featuring one male and female competitor, every shooter fired 75 shots in three rounds of 25 shots each. The medal round then saw the top six teams battle it out. The organizers of the Olympics removed the Double Trap event, which involves launching two targets simultaneously from a trap house, from the shooting program.
Since the initial contemporary Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896, shooting has been an Olympic sport. The number of events has changed from one edition of the Games to the next, growing from five in 1896 to 15 today. The United States has won by far-off the most Olympic medals, trailed by China and Russia. Italy has also been its property; for instance, they have won home three gold medals and two silver medals at the Rio 2016 Games, with Niccolò Campriani taking two Olympic titles.
In 1996, Atlanta segregated the shooting program, separating men’s events completely from women’s. The events at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China contained just 15 of the Olympic Shooting Sports disciplines, instead of the previous 17.
The Olympic Games omitted the 10m Running Target Men and Double Trap Women from the program. And will not continue them in future games.
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