CHENNAI: Weeks after resuming training at their respective shooting ranges, seven Olympic core group shooters were forced back to their homes due to intense lockdown imposed in their hometowns.
As many as four shooters were training at a shooting range in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur and three were practising at the Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy in Bhopal. While a week-long lockdown was imposed in Kolhapur on Monday, Bhopal was shut down for 10 days from Friday midnight to control the spread of the virus.
“Directorate of sports decided to shut its academies in the state capital for ten days in the wake of the fresh lockdown. Even the chief minister tested positive on Saturday. We have instructed shooters to continue with their physical workouts at home,” a shooting coach at the MP Academy said.
Aishwary Pratap Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan (both 50m rifle 3P), and Chinki Yadav (25m pistol) were practising at the Academy.
Apart from the trio, Swapnil Kusale and Tejaswini Sawant (50m rifle 3P shooters), and Rahi Sarnobat and Abhidnya Patil (25m pistol shooters) were training in Kolhapur before the lockdown disrupted their schedule.
“Swapnil was travelling to the shooting range from his village Kambalwadi, which is around 50km from the city, for training every day. But now it has stopped. All the shooters are at home and working on their physical fitness,” said rifle coach Deepali Deshpande.
National camp update
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) is waiting for instructions from its president Raninder Singh before announcing the commencement date of the proposed national camp for the shooters. “We are awaiting instructions from our president in this regard,” said NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia.
The association on July 16 announced the national camp for the 34 Olympic core group of shooters from August 1 at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi. The body also informed that it will issue its own protocols that shall be strictly implemented in addition to those issued by SAI.