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Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Wednesday, 29 September 2010 16:15 UK

Commonwealth Games 2010: Form guide - shooting

Abhinav Bindra
India expects pin-up shooter Bindra to win gold in Delhi

Shooting was a favourite game of the Maharajas of the former princely states of India, and it has captured the public's imagination since the country's shooters started making a global impression.

Poster boy Abhinav Bindra became the first individual Olympic gold medallist India has ever produced in 2008, while India were the leading Commonwealth nation to medal at the World Championships this summer, with two golds and a bronze.

Shooting is divided into three different groups: rifle, pistol and shotgun. The rifle and pistol competitions are held on shooting ranges, where marksmen aim at targets at distances of 10, 25 and 50 metres.

In the shotgun event, competitors shoot at clay targets propelled at a series of different directions and angles.

TRAP

Two-time Olympic champion Michael Diamond is looking to win his third individual trap title for Australia at the Commonwealth Games and make up for his failure in 2006, while pairs partner Adam Vella is also looking to avenge his disappointment in Melbourne.

India's Manavjit Sandhu, bronze medallist four years ago, is the third eligible shooter in the world's top 10. England's former European junior champion Aaron Heading and Scotland's John MacDonald are both medal prospects, while Northern Ireland's David Beattie would be delighted to emulate his silver of four years ago.

Home favourite Seema Tomar shot to fame in May by becoming the first Indian woman to win a shotgun medal in a World Cup event.

Canada's Cynthia Meyer was a world silver medallist in the double trap 13 years ago, and is vying to regain the Commonwealth title she won in 2002.

TRAP PAIRS

Australia's Michael Diamond is aiming for his fourth successive Commonwealth title in this discipline, and his third with Adam Vella.

However, Manavjit Sandhu and three-time Olympian Mansher Singh form a formidable partnership for India.

India will fancy their chances, with Seema Tomar and Shreyasi Singh a difficult double act to beat.

Canada's Cynthia Meyer and Susan Nattrass have enjoyed top-three finishes at the two previous Games but are yet to strike gold.

DOUBLES TRAP

Asher Noria
Noria equalled the world junior record winning gold in Munich

World junior champion Asher Noria represents India while Malta's William Chetcuti, who won bronze in Melbourne and former Olympic champion Russell Mark of Australia, are threats.

Home nations hopes are led by England's 2008 European champion Steven Scott and Tim Kneale, who is representing the Isle of Man.

In the doubles, Russell Mark defends his title with a new partner, Nicholas Kirley, and the Australian pair will have their work cut out against India's Ronjan Sodhi and Asher Noria, the respective world record and world junior record holders.

Professional carpenter Steven Scott partners 2006 Commonwealth medallist Steven Walton for England.

SKEET

The three gold medals won by Cyprus at the last Commonwealth Games all came in the skeet, and they remain the nation to beat in this discipline.

World number two George Achilleos has won two World Cup events this year and earned bronze at the World Championships by beating compatriot Antonakis Andreou in a shoot-off.

England's Clive Bramley is the only other eligible shooter in the top 25 of the world rankings while Welshman Malcolm Allen is competing in his fifth Commonwealth Games.

England pair Bramley and Richard Brickell won silver in the skeet pairs in 2006, four shots behind the Cypriots and one ahead of the Australians.

Those three nations are again likely to be the frontrunners, although Melbourne bronze medallist Clive Barton is now partnered by youngster Anthony Sottosanti.

FULL BORE

David Calvert is the shooting star of the Northern Ireland team, with seven medals from eight previous Commonwealth Games appearances and is hoping for a third individual title.

He edged out Delhi rival James Corbett of Australia to win the Queen's Prize at Bisley in July, the only major trophy that had eluded him.

Aside from the Australians, for whom Geoff Grenfell also competes, Calvert should face stiff competition from Parag Patel of England, who missed out on gold by a solitary point in Melbourne four years ago.

Patel, who won the doubles gold with Glyn Barnett four years ago, defends the title with a different partner, Jon Underwood.

James Corbett, who has won five Commonwealth medals but as yet no gold, teams up with Geoff Grenfell, while David Calvert will be partnered by Ross McQuillan for Northern Ireland.

PISTOL AND SMALL BORE

10m AIR PISTOL

Mick Gault
Gault first competed in the Commonwealths in 1994

With 15 Commonwealth medals to his name, England's Mick Gault needs four more to become the most decorated athlete in the tournament's history.

India's hopes of keeping the gold medal at home rest with Omkar Singh. He is the only Commonwealth shooter in the world's top 20, while Daniel Repacholi, the 2006 silver medallist, represents Australia, along with Christopher Roberts.

Singapore have never won a medal in this event, but boast a twin threat in the guise of Poh Lip Meng and Lim Swee Hon, who are ranked in the world's top 50.

The pairs title is likely to be contested by shooters from the four nations mentioned above.

India start as favourites, with Singh partnered by namesake Gurpreet Singh. However, no-one can match the past performance of England's Gault and Nick Baxter, who won the title in 1998 and 2002 and were silver medallists four years ago.

Defending champion and world number two Lalita Yauhleuskaya is the form athlete in the women's field. The Russia-born Australian has won the 10m air pistol at the past two Commonwealth Games, and very few shooters seem capable of denying her a third successive title.

Kazakhstan-born compatriot Dina Aspandiyarova is a medal threat, while India's Heena Sidhu is also a contender.

Australia and India are favourites in the pairs while England's Georgina Geikie and Julia Lydall harbour ambitions of at least repeating their bronze medal of four years ago.

Men's 25m CENTRE FIRE PISTOL

India have high hopes of reclaiming the singles title through either Harpreet Singh or Vijay Kumar, who were 26th and 33rd respectively at the World Championships in August.

Singapore's On Shaw Ming does not defend the gold medal he won in 2006, so the island nation's hopes rest with Poh Lip Meng.

England's Iqbal Ubhi won a bronze in the pairs with Mick Gault, and they should be contenders again. However, the combined forces of Singh and Kumar will make India hard to beat.

Men's 50m CENTRE FIRE PISTOL

This event is where Mick Gault, who has won three gold medals and a silver in the singles, plus a gold and two bronze in the pairs, excels.

The top-ranked Commonwealth athlete is Singapore's Lim Swee Hon, the world number 30 while India will be represented by Omkar Singh and Deepak Sharma.

In the pairs, defending champions Australia face competition from England and India.

Melbourne victor David Moore is partnered by nuclear medicine technologist Bruce Quick, who has won 13 Commonwealth Games medals.

Men's 10m AIR RIFLES

India boast two of the best rifle shooters in the world in Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra and defending gold medallist Gagan Narang.

England are strong medal prospects in both the singles and pairs. Kenny Parr is joined by 19-year-old James Huckle, who earned a hat-trick of gold medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games in India two years ago.

Singapore, Australia and Bangladesh also harbour medal chances.

50m 3 POSITIONS

Gagan Narang
Narang is ranked fourth in the world

Defending singles and pairs champion Gagan Narang is clear favourite in the three positions, which comprise shooting while prone, standing and kneeling.

Narang's toughest opposition should come from fellow countryman Imran Hasan Khan, while Scotland's Jonathan Hammond and Neil Stirton, along with England's James Huckle and Kenny Parr, are all ranked in the Commonwealth's top 10.

India's Tejaswini Sawant and Lajja Gauswami are medal prospects for India in the women's competition but Australia's Robyn van Nus is the top-ranked Commonwealth athlete.

Scotland teenager Jennifer McIntosh has good shooting pedigree - her dad is Scotland's head coach while her mum won gold in 1994.

England's Michelle Smith is the fifth-highest ranked Commonwealth shooter in this discipline and, alongside Sharon Lee, should be in medal contention for England in the pairs, although India, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Scotland are all strong.

50m PRONE

Australia's Olympic bronze medallist Warren Potent won gold at the World Cup event in Sydney early this year, while Gagan Narang competes for the hosts.

Scottish duo Martin Sinclair and Neil Stirton should challenge in the singles and pairs, while 2006 individual gold and silver medallists David Phelps and Mike Babb again represent Wales and England respectively.

India's Tejaswini Sawant made history in August by becoming the first Indian woman to win a shooting world title, equalling the world record for the 50m rifle prone event in the process. She should be a certainty for gold.

Jennifer McIntosh is partnered by Kay Copland in the doubles, while Australia and New Zealand will be strong.



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