CHENNAI: Indian shooters had a forgettable run in Munich (ISSF World Cup) recently. In a game of fine margins, a few suffered narrow misses to return home empty-handed. The senior pool might have lots to contemplate on, but the juniors continue to exhibit plenty of promise. With a rich haul of 11 medals (three gold, four silver and four bronze) at the recent 27th Meeting of Shooting Hopes, a renowned international meet for upcoming shooters, the young pistol/rifle shooters displayed lots of firepower.
Anmol Jain was a standout during the event, which was held from May 25 to 28 in Plzen, Czech Republic. The Haryana-born shooter, who was also part of the senior team in Munich, bagged a silver medal in 50m pistol. He was also part of the team that won gold and silver in 10m air pistol and 50m pistol, respectively. Yashaswani Singh Deswal and Anad Jawanda — both pistol shooters — were also in their elements.
Former shooting ace and coach of the junior pistol national team Jaspal Rana was pleased with the performance. “There were five or six shooters who impressed me. Performing under pressure, they shot well. There were few first-timers too, and they shot without fear,” Rana told Express.
A quick glance at results indicate a bulk of medals were won by pistol shooters. In fact, Arjun Babut was the lone rifle shooter (10m air rifle) to return home with a medal (silver). But Rana felt that rifle shooters were good too. “They were unlucky, and missed out on medals by small margins,” he remarked.
Recent history suggests this performance is nothing new for juniors. Looking ahead, Rana stressed on having a proper system in place to help the talented lot. “It's a continous fight. As long as we fight, we'll get required facilities. But that should not be the case. Within the system, nobody should be fighting to acquire facilities,” he noted.
“We pick a team, and only selected ones get to avail facilities. There should be a proper system to help youngsters make use (coaches and equipments), so that we can get a larger pool of shooters to look at and pick for the national squad,” he added. Rana revealed he has had backing from lots of individuals/groups, which helped him deal with the youngsters without fuss. “There are lots of people helping out the team (national squad). There are also a few sponsors who've backed us. Without their support, it would be impossible. The government has also helped us.”