clay-pigeon shooting

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A form of shooting devised when the shooting of live birds was made illegal in some countries. Early forms of spring mechanism were employed in the late 1800s, to catapult artefacts made of clay into the sky to be shot at. A Clay Bird Shooting Association was established in Britain in 1903, the sport having featured as a men's event at the 1900 Paris Olympics under the name of ‘trap’ shooting (where all top six competitors were French). The trap event for women was introduced at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Competitors use a 12-gauge shotgun in aiming at the artificial birds (or ‘saucers’, more recently made of pitch and chalk rather than of clay). It is a sport resonant of the hunting sports of the privileged classes, and the prowess of the military, but in a peculiar way is an event that evokes a spirit of the triumph of the amateur in the modern age.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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