Indian shooting team keen on longer training sessions

Some of the shooters like Divyansh Singh Panwar, Manu Bhaker, Sanjeev Rajput and Abhishek Verma have been training at the range in Tughlakabad in their individual capacity.

Divyansh Singh Panwar, Manu Bhaker (in picture), Sanjeev Rajput and Abhishek Verma have been training at the range in Tughlakabad.   -  AP

After its overwhelming performance in the World Cup at the Dr. Karni Singh Range in March, Indian shooting has lost a precious month, planning the preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) maintained that the discussions were on between the stakeholders and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to finalise the course of action.

The readiness of the cream of Indian shooting was evident in the manner the team won 15 of the 30 gold medals on offer in the World Cup. In fact, India swept 30 of the 82 medals. The second best performer, the US team, managed to win four gold, three silver and a bronze. No team reached the double figures for medals, which should give a fair indication about the capacity of the Indian shooters on the global stage.

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Of course, some of the power houses of world shooting like China and Korea were not present. They all must be preparing hard at their training base, with an aim to strike hot in Tokyo.

The cream of Indian shooting has been reduced to home training after the World Cup. Some of the shooters like Divyansh Singh Panwar, Manu Bhaker, Sanjeev Rajput and Abhishek Verma have been training at the range in Tughlakabad in their individual capacity.

Rifle coach with the National team, Deepali Deshpande conceded that it was hard to finalise training as so many aspects tended to divert the plans.

"We finalise something and in a day or two some new restrictions come in and we have to change our plan. We are on the edge now. We must decide and start working," said Deepali.

Deepali Deshpande.   -  KAMESH SRINIVASAN



The general plan is to have a long training camp for the shooters which could be the only preparation for them before they compete in Tokyo.

"The European championships are still on. But, I am not sure whether we can reach there," said Deepali.

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Having been invested with a lot of resources and technical upgradation, the Dr. Karni Singh Range in Tughlakabad is likely to be the venue for training, even though the shooters, especially in the 25 and 50 metre events would struggle with the summer conditions.

"We have many good training facilities but all of them are in places where the summer is really harsh. AMU in Mhow has better facility and good weather also," observed Deepali.

Quite thoughtfully, SAI has tweaked the quarantine rules in such a way that the athletes would be able to start training "in small groups’’ straightaway, without idling away their time for days and weeks.

In about a week’s time, the Indian shooters are expected to start firing away as a team, and sustain their work, till they get on to the flight to Tokyo.