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NRAI announces charter flight for Olympic-bound shooters’ Croatia trip

As reported by this daily earlier, the NRAI had been trying to get all the necessary arrangements sorted for shooters to go abroad for training.

Published: 04th May 2021 09:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2021 09:41 AM   |  A+A-

Manu Bhaker (left) and Saurabh Chaudhary are India’s medal prospects at Tokyo

Manu Bhaker (left) and Saurabh Chaudhary are India’s medal prospects at Tokyo

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Like many sports in the country, shooting has also borne the brunt of the ongoing pandemic. After stellar display in ISSF World Cup in New Delhi in March, the elite shooters have not had a national camp, which is crucial at this hour with the Olympics less than three months away.

But that is set to change as the National Rife Federation of India (NRAI), the governing body of the sport, announced that the Olympic-bound shooters will leave on May 11 for Croatia to take part in European Championships, an event which is scheduled to be held from May 20 to June 6. The shooters will be staying back in Zagreb for training and they’ll directly go to Tokyo to take part in the Olympics.

As reported by this daily earlier, the NRAI had been trying to get all the necessary arrangements sorted for shooters to go abroad for training. “All the arrangements have been made in association with the Croatian Shooting Federation,” the NRAI said on Monday. To begin with, all the Olympic-bound shooters will assemble in New Delhi on Monday.

After staying in quarantine for a week or so and after undergoing Covid-19 tests, they’re expected to resume training at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range before leaving for Croatia. Because of the situation, the NRAI president Raninder Singh is understood to have taken the initiative to send the team by a chartered flight. “The NRAI has also made arrangements for a chartered flight for the entire squad to fly to Zagreb in order to nullify the threat of contracting infection to the maximum,” the NRAI said.

Moreover, all the shooters and officials who’ll be part of the trip are set to get vaccinated by May 6. “All members of the squad would be vaccinated by May 6, 2021, before their departure. The NRAI has also accommodated the private coaches and support staff of the shooters in the arrangement.” However, some of the high-profile pistol coaches like high performance coach Samaresh Jung, Jaspal Rana and Ronak Pandit are not part of the list that has been asked to assemble in Delhi. India can only field a few coaches/support staff during the Tokyo Olympics. Their exclusion is telling.  

However, Jung said it was a conscious decision due to the pandemic.  “I withdrew from the camp because of the pandemic situation. I also have my parents at home. I did not feel it’s right to be part of it right now,” he said. Chief coach Ved Prakash and foreign coach Pavel Smirnov will oversee the training of pistol shooters like Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma, just to name a few. The NRAI has decided to send the shooters directly to Tokyo so that the shooters can get a fair idea of the conditions out there. A total of 15 Indian shooters will be looking to etch their names in the history books during the Tokyo Olympics.
 



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