First things first, my prelude is words of gratitude to the management of the portal and, in particular, to Tatyana Dubovik, the head of the Russian branch. Thank you very much for the opportunity to tell a wider audience about the situation in Olympic shotgun shooting.
I start with my dearly beloved double trap. The history of this discipline lasts already for more than 27 years. Our discipline improved all these years and finally reached one of the most interesting formats of Olympic shotgun shooting. Double trap is distinguished by the bright, easily understandable plot: two targets retreating fast from the shooter on different trajectories are in sight permanently and after two accurate shots within one tenth of a second they turn into two bright clouds of smoke and fragments.
Shooting is very dynamic, the situation on the scoreboard changes every second. Literally, it is impossible to look away from the clay targets and athletes! Suffice it to say that the audience of the double trap final at the Olympics 2004 only in Italy exceeded five million TV viewers!
The seeming simplicity of double trap is largely due to the efforts of athletes. The fact is that to win, the champion has to make 210 or more shots per competition day! The task is not easy and impossible without good physical shape, hence the athletes have to demonstrate the elegant, high-precision use of arms.
Weapons for double trap deserve a separate discussion, I mention only that the main distinguishing feature is the rib elevated above the barrel. Its use is similar to the effect of the collimator sight widely used in driven hunt: all-round visibility, an active tag in the center, and shooting turns into an exciting game! Another interesting feature of double trap that that distinguishes it from shogun disciplines is its unique technique. To hit a doublet, many leaders use a combination of a fixed shot gun on the first target (akin to the precise rifle shot) with a classical shot from a moving shotgun on the second target as in trap.
At the present stage of the development of double trap, only men compete at the Olympic Games. But not so long ago we all were also pleased with the skill of women-athletes competing in double trap at Olympic Games 1996 in Atlanta, 2000 in Beijing and 2004 in Athens. Women-athletes in double trap contributed a lot to the history of shooting sports. To the great regret, after the Olympic Games 2004 in Athens ISSF decided to exclude the double trap women event from the program of the Olympic Games. Now the sword of Damocles hangs over the double trap men event.
The thing is that one of the fundamental principles in the recommendations of the IOC for the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo (agenda 2020) is the principle of gender equality. IOC requires that 50 percent of female participation should be achieved in each of the sports at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Based on these recommendations, ISSF jeopardized three shooting disciplines, in which women do not participate: rifle shooting in the prone position at 50 meters, pistol shooting at 50 meters and double trap. The double trap men event is proposed to be replaced by a mixed gender trap event!
As a result, the Olympic dream will be simply killed in the hearts of the entire constellation of famous athletes, men and juniors, multimillion-dollar investment of the national federations and efforts of each of the athletes for the development of double trap will be gone with the wind, the achievements of the leading manufacturers of weapons will go to ashes. It turns out that more than 27 years, those athletes and federations, who supported this initiative of the ISSF, were competing in the WRONG sport!
Double trap, as mentioned above, is a discipline with a special shooting technique and specific weapons, and it is generally recognized by spectators and fans, as well as TV industry representatives, as the most vibrant, understandable and spectacular event of all shooting events. It is irreplaceable! To eliminate double trap means to destroy destinies and sports dynasties! No, this not what the ISSF was created for! The main task of the ISSF according to its statute is the development and promotion of shooting sports!
There is a more rational and humane solution of this difficult situation. Many athletes and National Shooting Sport Federations, as well as women-athletes practicing double trap, are ready to support by their participation the transformation of the double trap men event into a double trap mixed team event.
This transformation is completely within the spirit of the recommendations of the IOC for the Olympic Games in Tokyo: a new component is introduced in addition to the gender equality: mixed teams. In the case of double trap, one man and one woman form a team representing the National Olympic Committee, each country at the Olympic Games can be represented by two teams. So we kill three birds with one stone at once: keep double trap, increase the number of women-athletes at the Olympic Games not reducing the number of athletes, and introduce a new discipline: the competition of mixed teams! It sounds like a sweet dream on the eve of the hunt anticipating good luck.
It is symbolic that this article is published on the eve of the New Year - a holiday of miracles and fulfillment of desires. Life teaches us to soberly evaluate our capabilities, to fight to the end and to believe that reason will prevail. Let Christmas miracle and positive thinking help us to achieve our aims in the coming New Year! My hearfelt congratulations to you, dear readers! I wish you health, happiness and good luck in the New Year, victories to sportsmen and worthy trophies to hunters!