Manufacturing success: Manpat made targets, now hits them

The irony wasn't lost when Bangalore shooter Rakesh Manpat disclosed that he and his brother Rajesh run a company that manufactures electronic targets. The Bangalore shooter had to use paper targets as all of the electronic targets were uprooted from the SAI range and shifted to Delhi's Karni Singh Shooting range, just in time for the ongoing National shooting championships.

The company that the brothers own, iFuture Systems, manufactures 'Elite Shooter', which according to the propreitors are the world's cheapest electronic targets meant for the 10m air rifle discipline. The brothers say they are yet to launch the same in 50 metre disciplines.

Rakesh had just obliterated the final field to win his maiden 50 metre prone gold medal at the National, a field that included Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput, Joydeep Karmakar who finished fourth in the 2012 Olympics, and two-time reigning national champion Sushil Ghaley.

His final aggregate in the 2-shot final was 207.9, which was 1.8 points ahead of Railways shooter Karmakar, who finished second with a total of 206.1 points. The bronze was won by Gagan Narang, whose 183.6 was enough for a third spot finish. Rakesh barely making the cut for the eight-shooter final line-up, finishing sixth after shooting a total score of 615.9 points. The Bangalore shooter, however, replaced Karmakar in the top position after the 12th shot and never dropping positions from that point on.

"The key was to maintain the lead once I got it. I managed it somehow. I have won a silver and a bronze in previous editions. Today I got it, the gold, the only medal that was missing," Manpat said after winning his maiden title. What added to the 22-year-old's nerves was the fact that as a civilian shooter, he had very little time to adjust to his new Anschutz gun. The civilian shooter got was 12 days with his new acquisition. "All I had was 12 days with paper targets at the Bangalore range. The qualification score wasn't great but I did OK with the kind of training that I got. But it was key for me to not drop points in the last 3-4 shots," he added.

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