NATIONAL SHOOTING coach and Dronacharya awardee Sunny Thomas lamented that though the government is helping the sport, the assistance is not reaching on time.
Thomas, who is in Indore to attend the Doha Asian Games selection trials held at the Reoti Ranges, told Hindustan Times on Thursday that the ammunition for shooters are in short supply. Morever, ammunition supplied for Asian Games selection trials are for practice and they are not used for the match.
“I had indented for one lakh ammunition but received just 29,000. Hence, I had to request the Army and the BSF shooters to bring their own ammunitions for the trials,” he said.
He, however, said that the government and Sports Authority of India (SAI) are doing their job well. “We are not getting the required ammunition on time and the government waits for the last moment to invite global tenders which delays supply,” he said.
Apart from the shortage of ammunitions, there is no dearth of confidence. Thomas is confident that the Indian shooting contingent for the Asian Games would pocket at least two gold among its tally of medals.
“A shooter has broken the Olympics jinx by winning a silver medal in the individual events and shown the world that we are not inferior to any other shooter in the world,” he said. ”We are world champion in two events and performed well in the recently concluded World Shooting Championship,” he said.
There was a time when a shooter who earned 370 to 375 points was considered good and was selected but now there is tremendous competition. He said that in the ongoing selection trials more than seven to eight shooters are running neck and neck for the top three positions. There are shooters who are regularly scoring 399, 398 and 397 points out of 400. Sunny said that even 0.01 points make a lot of difference in the selection.
The Indian shooters are consistently doing well. He said that 35 to 36 shooters would be selected for Asian Games out of which 25 would be selected from the Indore selection trials and the rest from Delhi.
After the selections, the Shooting Federation will hold a camp for the selected shooters at Bangalore, beginning from September 27 to October 17, and the final camp would be held from October 25 to November 12.
Thomas said that for the Bangalore camp they would be arranging ammunitions from Army but for the final camp they do not have ammunitions hence it is cause of worry for the Federation.