World Cup: Ahead of Tokyo Olympics, dress rehearsal for Indian shooting team in Croatia

The Indian contingent - comprising rifle and pistol shooters - has been training in earnest after having landed in Croatia by a chartered flight on May 11.

Shooting

Indian shooters will be keen to impress.   -  REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE/REUTERS

Indian shooting team will have its final dress rehearsal at the World Cup in Osijek, Croatia, from Thursday.

The Indian contingent - comprising rifle and pistol shooters - has been training in earnest after having landed in Croatia by a chartered flight on May 11. The European championship did provide some world class competition, but as outsiders the Indian shooters could only gauge themselves in the MQS section.

A competition so close to the Olympics may not be desirable from one perspective, but the 13 Olympic bound shooters, and skeet shooter Gurjoat Khangura - who seems to be the only other Indian entry - are keen to capitalise on the opportunity.

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The two Tokyo-bound shotgun shooters, Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa had stayed away from the World Cup on the advice of coach Ennio Falco.

Competition in Osijek will start with air rifle and air pistol for men and women. Coach Deepali Deshpande had observed that the air pistol and air rifle shooters would return to the training base in Zagreb immediately on completion of their competition. The rest would continue with their events.

From a different perspective, it will be one World Cup when India would not be looking at the medals, after having topped the medals table in the World Cup earlier this season in Delhi.

For this Indian shooting squad, the focus is to be at its best in Tokyo, so as to re-enact the great deeds of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Abhinav Bindra, Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang in the Olympics in Athens, Beijing and London.

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