NRAI postpones Olympic selection committee meeting over coronavirus

All coaching camps scheduled for April have been put off; public dealings at the NRAI House have also been stopped until the end of the month.

In this photo taken in October, 2018, Raninder Singh congratulates Mehuli Ghosh on her air rifle silver in the Youth Olympics. The NRAI president urged the shooting fraternity not to lose focus on the main goal: to perform at their best in the Olympics in Tokyo.   -  THE HINDU

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has postponed the Olympic selection committee meeting that was scheduled for Friday.

With the growing uncertainty triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the NRAI also decided to postpone all the coaching camps scheduled for April. “We urge all Olympic bound shooters and national coaches to refrain from coming to the range till further notice, and request that they continue with their respective training schedules from their home base, as best as they can,” Raninder Singh, president of the NRAI, said in a statement.

Requesting the senior coaches to refrain from travel, Raninder urged the shooting fraternity not to lose focus on the main goal: to perform at their best in the Olympics in Tokyo, as and when it was held.

With 15 shooters having qualified for the Olympics, the original plan was to announce the Olympic team after the World Cup in Delhi, which has subsequently been postponed to May.

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In an attempt to compensate for the requisite scores, the NRAI went ahead and conducted the selection trials for all the Olympic qualified shooters. Even though most shooters would comfortably be holding on to their Olympic quota that they won in the World Championship, World Cups and the Asian Championship, there could be some suspense in a couple of events, as to who would be chosen by the national federation to represent the country in the Olympics.

With the situation so fluid, the NRAI realised there was no urgency to finalise the Olympic team, as the world of sports had been compelled to face weeks of inaction, owing to the global concern for everyone’s health.

Meanwhile, the public dealings at the NRAI House in Tughlaqabad have also been stopped until the end of the month, to comply with the general practice at this juncture. It has been stated that no visitors would be allowed at the shooting headquarters, and the senior NRAI officials would function from home.

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