NEW DELHI: Nickolaus Mowrer looks like any other shooter who is here at the ISSF shooting World Cup. But the man from USA is as quirky as it comes. The manner in which he utters something is almost robotic, the ideas that he possesses is also quite different from the usual. One is likely to find him in the range more often than not. “I’ll travel home tomorrow (Wednesday), I’ll reach 4-5 on Thursday. I’ll be in the range on Friday,” he says, making it known shooting comes first and foremost in his life.
Having grown up with guns — his family is into hunting — one can realise where he got that bug from. What makes him unique is that he can compete in two different categories — rifle and pistol. He has been practicing both for a decade. That is something that is unheard of, at least at shooting’s elite level. A glance at his CV will show that he has taken part in the Olympics (50m free pistol at the 2012 Games). In the rifle section, he has medalled once in the World Cup, back in 2014. “The fundamentals of marksmanship is the same. So I apply the same strategy in both,” the 30-year-old explains, in a rapid tone with a straight face.
Incidentally, this World Cup was the first time where the Colorado-based shooter, a self-confessed machinist (a person who deals with machinery), competed in both the rifle and the pistol sections, even though things didn’t go as well. He finished 36th in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol on Tuesday. On Sunday, he had finished in the same position in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions. “I have been shooting since I was a little kid. It’s a family tradition. In USA, we have other shooting disciplines, other than Olympic styles.
“I have competed there. It’s called the NRA high power rifle and NRA bullseye pistol. Where I grew up in Montana, the different seasons there forced me to shoot high power rifle in the summer and bullseye pistol during the winters. So I got lot of experience by switching between seasons,” he said.
Earlier, he had shot both free pistol and rifle prone at a World Cup in the Minimum Qualification Score section. Similarly, he has shot MQS in one section and taken part in a competitive match in the other discipline in the past.
Many experts usually prefer their shooters to focus on one discipline in order to get maximum output. From one discipline, there could be multiple events and sometimes even if the shooters are competent, the coaches usually prefer their wards to stick to one event to ensure that they don’t get overburdened. “I’m highly rebellious by nature. I have never listened to anyone. I will never stop,” he says.
This was just the beginning for him and he is not stopping anytime soon. Like the rest here with Olympic aspiration, he wants to reach the pinnacle of the sport. “I want to win Olympic gold in both the disciplines,” he signs off.
Full name: Nickolaus Mowrer
DOB: Sept 14, 1988
Claim to fame
- Shoots with both rifles and pistols
- Took part at 2012 Olympics in the 50m free pistol event (finished 15th in qualifying)
- Medalled at one leg of the World Cup in 2014 — bronze in the men’s 50m rifle prone at Fort Benning.
- Competed for medals in 25m rapid fire pistol and 50m rifle 3 positions this week.