Shooting World Cup to be staged at Karni Singh Range

The fact that the World Cup Finals for both pistol and rifle, apart from shotgun events are slated to be hosted at the same Range (Karni Singh Range) by the end of the season in October, would mean that the Indian shooters better be at their earnest best to secure their positions.

Some of the leading shooters Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu and Kynan Chenai interacted with the media on Monday and expressed confidence about their strong preparation.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

The non-Olympic year with no Olympic quota places at stake may not tune the shooters to their intense best, but the Indian squad will attempt to have a strong start for the season in the World Cup to be staged at the Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, from February 24.

The fact that the World Cup Finals for both pistol and rifle, apart from shotgun events are slated to be hosted at the same range by the end of the season in October, would mean that the Indian shooters better be at their earnest best to secure their positions.

Having hosted the Asian Olympic quota event successfully around the same time last year, the president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), Raninder Singh, was quite unperturbed about hosting a World Cup featuring about 50 countries.

"Unlike the Olympic quota event last time, the shooters take care of their stay and other expenses. So, we don’t need to spend much. We will be incurring expenses for the World Cup Finals. However, the whole idea is to win the confidence of the ISSF and get another Olympic quota event’’, said the NRAI president.

Some of the leading shooters Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu and Kynan Chenai interacted with the media on Monday and expressed confidence about their strong preparation.

"It is a great opportunity for the shooting fraternity to watch us live at home in such a world class competition. The rule changes are aimed towards making the sport more interesting", said Gagan who will be competing only in the rifle prone event.

The World Championship and Olympic medallist, Gagan said that he would soon intensify his training for the air rifle and 3-position events and find his place back into the Indian squad, the way he had done over the years, including the Olympics in Rio.

While the pistol ace Jitu Rai, who has won every international medal worth the attention, except the ones in Olympics, observed that it would be an important event for him, Heena Sidhu pointed out that the newly introduced mixed doubles events could catch the interest of the fans, as she had noticed during the European championship.

Even though she was equally at ease as No.1 in the 10-metre air pistol and 25-metre sports pistol events in the country, Heena who holds a world record in air pistol, said that she wanted to focus on one event at the start of the season.

Trap shooter Kynan Chenai who had won the Olympic quota for Rio Games, but was in the eye of a storm during the Games, said that he was working peacefully with both the national coach Marcello Dradi and personal coach Mansher Singh.

Meanwhile, the NRAI president Raninder was excited about hosting the Administrative Council and Executive Council meetings of the ISSF, and observed that some important decisions could emerge from the same.

The Final hall, would capture the essence of "Incredible India", for the global audience as well as the participants from around the world, with the Taj Mahal taking pride of place along with other landmarks in the country superbly depicted to create a colourfully brilliant ambience.