Joydeep Karmakar, the newly appointed chief rifle coach of India, feels that the country’s rifle shooters need to be mentally strong to produce their best during the big events like the Olympics.

Karmakar, who missed the bronze by a whisker in the 2012 London Olympics in the men’s 50 metre rifle prone event, said he will focus on the mental strength of his wards when he assumes his new role as the national coach.

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“After reading various reports appearing in the media, I have found that our shooters are failing in the big arena apparently because they are unable to handle pressure. It is also possible that most of them are unable to peak at the right time,” Karmakar said during a meet-the-press organised by the Calcutta Sports Journalists Club. The Olympic shooter, who had been running an academy in the city, said he had been given a contract till 2025 and that he wished to prepare a good team for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Playing career ends

Karmakar received the confirmation of his appointment as the chief rifle coach on Saturday and immediately decided to bring curtains on playing career. “I did not formally announce my retirement from the sport. But after receiving the confirmation of my appointment as the chief coach from the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), I have decided to bring curtains on my career as a shooter,” Karmakar said while adding that he will start his new assignment from Sunday by joining the National camp ahead of the World Cup scheduled in Baku from May 25.

The national federation had gone for a significant overhaul of the coaching staff after India returned empty handed from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Karmakar said he felt he would be able to do justice to his new role as he encountered a lot of hardships as a shooter before making it to the Olympics final. “I feel I will be doing a better job in my new role as I personally didn’t have a coach ever since I started my career in 1989. I had to learn and unlearn many times from different experiences to reach my level of excellence,” Karmakar said.