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- Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - From Print Edition


KARACHI: Usman Chand, an extremely talented skeet shooter from Sialkot, is set to leave on December 1 to take part in the 2nd Asian Championship Shotgun to be held in Patiala, India, from November 28 to December 9.


“I have applied for the visa. This is the first time I am representing my country and I aim to bring back the gold medal,” Usman told ‘The News’.


In the championship, 117 players of 12 countries will take part. “I have made good preparations so I am hopeful of achieving something big for my country. After this tournament I will take part in an event to be held in Kuwait by February-end next year, and after that in the world cup that is to be held in United Arab Emirates in March,” he said.


Usman further said that all this was actually part of his grand preparations for the next Olympics. “It’s actually how I am preparing myself for the next Olympics. I started this game some six years back at the district level. Then, moving forward, I won all gold medals in the categories of trap, double trap, and skeet at Punjab Games this year,” said 28-year-old Usman.


After that, he added, he got fourth position in skeet and won bronze medal in double trap category in the last National Games. “My grandfather was a hunter and his three sons were also into hunting. I and my cousin took up this sport, but only some six years ago did I start to think about it as a sport,” said Usman, who has a business of manufacturing surgical tools.


When asked how he managed to improve his game, he said Youtube was his coach. “I don’t have any coach but Youtube. I watch videos of the best shooters and learn different techniques from them. I try the most suitable techniques and if I find them working for me I adopt them. This is an ongoing thing,” he said.


About the challenges he faces, Usman said it is an expensive sport and players themselves have to spend money to go on tours, in most cases. “Sometimes National Rifles Association of Pakistan (NRAP) shares the burden,” he added.


He further said that with the help of Army he and some other players built a shooting range in Sialkot on a piece of land measuring between three and four acres. “The Army gave us land and also helped us import duty-free machines. Now we have a club with 30 members and state-of-the-art machines. It is named Clover Shooting Club.” he said.


Usman said that they have requested Pakistan Ordnance Factories, Wah Cantt, to provide them kartoos on manufacturing cost.


“We don’t ask for help. It’ll be a favour because we will be able to buy sufficient number of kartoos with our limited resources. This will really help give the game a boost,” he said.