Shooting: Olympics-bound team to train in Zagreb

NRAI ropes in individual coaches also apart from national coaches

The Olympic shooting team will be based in Zagreb, Croatia, for training and competition, to prepare in right earnest for Tokyo, without being distracted by the raging pandemic.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), after many brainstorming sessions with the coaches and other stakeholders for about a month, finally found the best path ahead. The national federation has opted to charter a flight for the team, and also get everyone vaccinated prior to departure.

The federation and government have roped not only the national team coaches and support staff, but also individual coaches who have been working with the Olympic qualified shooters.

There will be nine coaches for the 13 rifle and pistol shooters. The rifle coaches outnumbered the two pistol coaches because some of the coaches like Samaresh Jung, Jaspal Rana and Ronak Pandit were unable to take up such a long stint abroad for various reasons.

The two foreign coaches Oleg Mikhailov and Pavel Smirnov, along with Deepali Deshpande, Manoj Kumar, Suma Shirur, Ved Prakash Pilaniya have been drafted into the squad.

Divyansh Singh Panwar’s coach Deepak Kumar Dubey, Elavenil Valarivan’s coach from Gun for Glory, Neha Chavan, and Apurvi Chandela’s coach Rakesh Manpat will be part of the training squad.

There will be four physiotherapists Sumit Arora, Zeinia Samar, Sumita Jain and Shloka Varvatkar, apart from two physical trainers Akshay Bhapkar and Har Kaur.

Apurvi, Elavenil, Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant, Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Rahi Sarnobat will be the women shooters.

Divyansh Sigh, Deepak Kumar, Sanjeev Rajput, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishevk Verma will be the men.

Reserves lose out

Even though the NRAI had announced reserves and assured matching training for them along with the Tokyo bound squad, they could not be fitted into this plan.

The two Olympics bound skeet shooters Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan will be based in Italy.

The Indian team is scheduled to leave on May 11, after training at the Dr. Karni Singh Range here.

The team will also participate in the European Championship in Osjek, Croatia, from May 20 to June 6.

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