Fourteen-year-old double-trap shooter Shapath Bharadwaj created history by qualifying for the senior national team after finishing second in the selection trials, which concluded in Patiala on Saturday. He will now represent India in the World Cups at New Delhi, Mexico and Cyprus.
Ankur Mittal topped the list and Sangram Singh Dahiya bagged the third position in the senior selection shooting trials. Shapath had scored 136/150 in the national shooting championships at Jaipur in November, and in the two rounds of trials at Patiala, he shot 122/150 and 136/150, respectively. The average of the three scores saw Shapath Bharadwaj finish second behind Mittal. His 136 in the nationals is a junior national record.
A Class 9 student, Shapath Bharadwaj is the first junior to qualify for the senior national team. During the national championships in Jaipur from November 15-26 scored 136/150 to secure second rank in junior and third position in senior category.
He also won individual and team gold during the 13th International Grand Prix at Porpetto, Italy in July with a career-best score of 139. Shapath won the team silver in the 8th International Shotgun Cup in Finland in June.
Shapath gave credit for his success to coach Yogendra Pal Singh. “I followed the technique taught by my coach.”
Singh said he was just too happy for his wards. “I am happy that Shapath gave his best and shot well in the trials.”