Rio: Chain Singh unwell, shooting body can look at Rajput as a replacement
Chain Singh, the 27-year-old Army marksman, fell ill and was hospitalised as there was a possibility of him developing a life-threatening condition where clots form in the veins, resulting in laboured breathing.olympics Updated: Jul 25, 2016 18:35 IST
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) could probably revisit their decision to exclude former Navy shooter Sanjeev Rajput from the Rio-bound squad in the wake of Army marksman Chain Singh suffering from pneumonia and pulmonary embolism in Lausanne, Switzerland where he was training for the Games.
Chain Singh, the 27-year-old Army marksman, suffered the debilitating illness recently and was hospitalised as there was a possibility of him developing a life-threatening condition where clots form in the veins, resulting in laboured breathing.
Those familiar with the events would know that Rajput had earned the quota for the country in 50m rifle 3-position during the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in January this year at New Delhi. But, London Olympic bronze-medallist shooter Gagan Narang, who had a quota in rifle prone and was marginally ahead of Rajput in the rankings in rifle 3-position, was named instead.
Gagan, who will be competing in all three rifle events, will be competing alongside Abhinav Bindra in air rifle and Chain in prone and 3-position events. Skeptics feel that competing in all three events and that too at the Olympics is a tough ask and Gagan should have restricted himself to a maximum of two events.
Given the current scenario where Chain is recuperating and the Olympic Games are barely 10 days away, a fit Rajput could be an ideal replacement for Chain in prone and 3-position, as he is in great form and recently won a silver medal at the World Cup in Baku, besides being one of the country’s two 3-position gold-medal winners at the World Cup in Changwon (2011).
Speaking to HT, Rajput said, “Ever since I’ve returned from Baku (World Cup, where he won a silver recently), I’ve been training all day at the Karni Singh Ranges (in Tughlakabad). I always try to keep myself match ready.”
The 3-position is one of the toughest and longest events in shooting with marksmen having to shoot 120 shots, taking between 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours including the ‘sighters’. And with shooting all about exhaling and inhaling at the right moment, it could become laboured for Chain.
It may be recalled that Gagan’s golden run during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi was broken as his sick partner in prone ‘pairs’ event, Hariom Singh struggled because he could not take medication for fear of getting caught in a doping test. The pair finished outside the medals bracket and Hariom, who was suffering from a similar ailment as Chain, was quoted as saying, . “I have not been well for 4-5 days. I couldn’t concentrate. I could not take medicine because of the doping issue.”