The People’s Liberation Army of China is taking the upcoming Military and Police Sniper World Cup seriously.
A group of top snipers have been put under intense training for the past two months for a chance to compete in the competition.
Among other tasks, soldiers have been asked to shoot the images of flies hidden among bees and grasshoppers on a target sheet from as far away as 100 metres, according to the People’s Daily Online.
Meng Qingfeng, one of the coaches for the training, said they have designed the content of the training based on tasks from previous World Cups.
Mr Meng said in order to improve the snipers’ level of precision, the coaches have asked them to hit five flies on the target within a set time limit.
‘The target itself will have not only five flies but also five bees, five grasshoppers and you can only hit five flies to gain the highest scores,’ added Mr Meng.
Trainees are required to complete a series of other tasks, including hitting targets placed 100 metres away from a moving vehicle, which travels at 30 kilometres per hour, and slicing a bullet in half by shooting at the edge of a knife blade.
Each year the trainers will think of new and unusual tests for the snipers.
‘There is a huge intensity to the tests, the length of the tests are considerable and the areas to be tested on are varied and the time we have to prepare before the tests are short,’ said Han Bin, who is the youngest among the trainees and is hoping to win a place on the team.
‘Therefore you must go through each area of the tests in your mind before the test itself,’ said Mr Han.
The current 13 members in training have been whittled down from an initial 30. The final team will consist of eight members who will fly out to Hungary in two months to attend the Military and Police Sniper World Cup.
Last year, Chinese competitors dominated the snipers’ Olympics by winning three of the five individual and team events.