It is one thing to celebrate and another to have fun at others’ cost. Perhaps, the range officials, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) bosses, Karni Singh Shooting Range administrators, coaches et al — overwhelmed by the triumph of Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang — forgot that competitors from other countries were still vying for lesser medals.
Wild celebrations broke out the moment Bindra and Narang clinched gold, with all those connected with the sport hugging the champions, calling up their near and dear ones and creating a sight, which did not go down well with the international shooters, who continued with their competition for another 25 minutes in the din.
An upset Mohammed Asif Hossain Khan from Bangladesh, who clinched bronze with Abdullah Hel Baki, went to the extent of saying that his scores “dipped” after the celebrations started behind the competition arena and in the stands.
“They could have clapped once and then waited for the competition to get over,” he said, adding, “There was a lot of crowd behind the competition arena.”
NRAI acting president, Avtar Singh Sethi, range administrator, Manmeet Singh Goindi, former NRAI secretary-general, Baljeet Singh Sethi, and Indian juries, among others, joined the celebrations, little realising they were harming others’ medal hopes.
Not quite befitting their stature, given that they run the sport of shooting in the country.