Smirnov, Pandit en route to joining Indian shooting team in Croatia

Pistol coaches Pavel Smirnov and Ronak Pandit left for Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday to join the Indian shooting preparing for the Olympics in that country.

File picture of Pavel Smirnov (left).   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Pistol coaches Pavel Smirnov and Ronak Pandit left for Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday to join the Indian shooting team preparing for the Olympics in that country.

Smirnov could not accompany the team earlier owing to a delay in getting a visa, while Pandit and other coaches Samaresh Jung and Jaspal Rana were also unable to leave for various reasons. “Jaspal and I are waiting for the visa and will join the team next week,” said Jung.

READ: Only Oleg, Pavel to stay entire duration of Olympics with Indian shooters, others will be rotated

Meanwhile, the Indian team has been competing in the MQS section of the ongoing European championship at Osijek, to get more competitive exposure. There will be a World Cup at the same venue in June, which will serve as the final competition before the Tokyo Games.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Union Sports Ministry had decided to place the team in a safer environment in Europe in the run-up to the Olympics owing to the spike in covid-19 cases across the country, which had led to uncertainty of training and travel.

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