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Shooting stars eye pre-nationals
- Observer applauds state tourney organisers

Jamshedpur, Sept. 14: The secluded compound of the Jamshedpur Rifle Club (JRC) resonated with the sound of gunshots as about 120 shooters, including 10 women from Ranchi, took turns to shoot the target at the 50m range.

Shooters from Jamshedpur, Ghatshila, Dhanbad and Ranchi had assembled here to hit bullseye at the inaugural Jharkhand State Rifle Shooting Championship today.

Based on their performance here, participants will get a slot in the state squad for the upcoming MV Malwankar Championship (pre-nationals) at Agra next month.

Rajender Kumar Virdi from Dhanbad took the lead in .22 rifle shooting event (25 and 50m range), scoring 490 out of maximum 600 points.

His teammate Sambhunath Singh managed 207.

Niraj Agarwal from Ghatshila scored 197 out of 400 in the air rifle/pistol event (10m) while teammate Madhur Agarwal totalled 205 points.

Hemendra Kumar Soni, who is also from Ghatshila, scored 250 while Nagmani Kumar from JRC bagged 255 points.

Other shooters who took part in the air rifle/pistol event included Ajay Singhdeo (172/400) from Dhanbad and Amit Kumar (185) from Ranchi. Virdi scored 311 points.

Open sight and peep sight and revolver/pistol (50m) are among the other events that have been lined up for the championship, said Uttamchand Agarwal, secretary of Jamshedpur Rifle Club.

JRC, which was established in 1954, is one of the oldest rifle clubs in the country.

It was recently granted affiliation by the National Rifle Association of India.

?We are trying to organise the state meet in the best possible manner. We have recently procured new imported rifles and pistols to add zing to the shooting activities in the steel city,? said Agarwal, adding the sport has a bright future in Jharkhand.

An observer from the National Rifle Association of India, Gaya Prasad seemed satisfied by the arrangements made by the JRC.

He is in the city for the state championship.

?I am happy with the facilities. The event is being organised efficiently. Things will improve more if the JRC replaces the equipment, which has become old,? Prasad told The Telegraph.

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