Almost all the recommendations and assessments by the Abhinav Bindra-led review committee regarding both the Indian and foreign coaches have been put on the back burner by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). Reason: the national federation don’t have ready replacements.
The NRAI has sought a six-month extension for shotgun coach Marcelo Dradi and wants the Sports Authority of India to retain Pavel Smirnov till the 2018 world championship.
NRAI believes Russian Smirnov was instrumental in Vijay Kumar winning a 25m rapid fire pistol silver medal in 2012 London Olympics and is the man behind Jitu Rai’s phenomenal rise.
The federation, of course, feels the necessity for a quality precision coach.
Pistol shooters Heena Sidhu, Jitu Rai and Prakash Nanjappa, have told the four-member review committee led by Bindra, that they received little help from Smirnov in the run up to the Rio Olympics 2016.
According to a report released to the media, Jitu said that Smirnov “did not have the expertise in the precision events” and added that he had no “working relationship with Smirnov.”
Nanjappa said Smirnov delayed in giving him a clear training plan and the attention that he deserved.
Shotgun coach Dradi’s assessment by the committee wasn’t flattering either. The report stated that while Manavjit Singh Sandhu hardly trained with him, Kynan Chenai had no supervision from the Italian coach during his training stint in Masari, Italy.
Skeet coach Ennio Falco’s contract is all set to extended till 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Most Indian coaches will also retain their jobs due to lack of replacements.
Junior pistol coach Jaspal Rana was approached to take over the senior team, but he has turned it down. The coaching staff led by Syed Wajid Ali will thus continue. Monali Gorhe will join this team.
In the rifle discipline, Kanwar Randhir Singh and Dilip Singh Chandel will stay on. M Padmanabhan and Amarjung Singh will continue to be the shotgun coaches.
Interestingly, the review report had slammed Kanwar Randhir Singh, Syed Wajid Ali, Padmanabhan and Amarjang Singh, saying “the coaches have no record to back their claims as either coaches or as shooters.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian Oleg Mikhailov is all set to replace Stanislav Lapidus as the next foreign coach of the rifle team. He has agreed on the terms and is waiting for travel documents before he signs on the dotted lines.