By Abhishek Hore
New Delhi, Sep 15 (PTI) The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has received a request from the chief coaches in rifle, pistol and shotgun disciplines to organise a one-month national camp for the Olympic core group to ensure better preparation.
The NRAI had postponed the compulsory training camp for its core group planned from August 1 after taking into account the situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, adhering to the health and safety protocols, a handful of shooters who are part of the core group, have been training on their own at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range since the facility was reopened for use on July 8.
"We have received a request from the chief coaches to resume the national camp. Preferably, they want the camp to go on for at least a month," NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia told PTI.
"The NRAI is looking into it. Considering the situation, there are a lot of factors that will need to be taken into consideration before starting the camp," the veteran administrator added.
Samaresh Jung, who won an unprecedented five gold medals at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, is the Indian pistol team's high performance coach while Olympian Deepali Deshpande is the national rifle coach.
Olympian and former double trap and trap specialist Mansher Singh is the chief coach of the shotgun team.
On Tuesday, Delhi reported more than 4000 cases of COVID-19, and overall, the city has recorded more than two lakh confirmed cases.
The Karni Singh Range is located in the national capital.
A lot of shooters have been training at their respective bases since the pandemic forced a closure of facilities.
Shooters such as World Cup medallist Sanjeev Rajput, Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala have been training at the facility for weeks now alongside shotgun marksmen like Sheeraz Sheikh and Mairaj Ahmad Khan.
While the shooters residing in places such as Delhi and Haryana went ahead and resumed their training at the range, those living outside the National Capital Region (NCR) have been apprehensive considering the threat travelling from their respective native places could pose.
Both Bhaker and Rajput are quota holders for the Tokyo Olympics. Bhanwala also has a bright chance of making the Indian team for the Games.
A total of 15 Indian shooters have secured quota places for the Tokyo Olympics, postponed to next year due to the raging pandemic.
Before its attempt to organise the camp was derailed by the pandemic, the NRAI had appointed High Performance Manager and former India shooter Ronak Pandit as the Nodal Officer in charge of overall co-ordination for hygiene and medical protocols of the camp.
The Manav Rachna University campus, which is an International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) training academy and located close to the range, was supposed to house the core group, coaches and its support staff during the camp, with the federation taking care of the transport. PTI AH AH AT