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Asian Games 2014: Great start by Indian shooters despite IOA goof-ups

Even though India's campaign got off to a great start in the 2014 Asian Games, there was a possibility that some of the Indian shooters may not even have made it to Incheon, South Korea for the first day of the event.

other Updated: Sep 20, 2014 17:31 IST
Jitu-Rai-L-celebrates-with-a-team-official-after-winning-the-men-s-50m-air-pistol-individual-final-of-the-2014-Asian-Games-in-Incheon-South-Korea-AFP-Photo
Jitu-Rai-L-celebrates-with-a-team-official-after-winning-the-men-s-50m-air-pistol-individual-final-of-the-2014-Asian-Games-in-Incheon-South-Korea-AFP-Photo

Even though India's campaign got off to a great start in the 2014 Asian Games, there was a possibility that some of the Indian shooters may not even have made it to Incheon, South Korea for the first day of the event.

India hailed the performances of Jitu Rai and Shweta Chaudhry as they won gold and bronze in their respective shooting events on Day 1 on Saturday.

However, that's all down to the athletes' focus, talent and dedication since they were not done any favours by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), as official goof-ups delayed the arrival of several members of the Indian contingent.

It had been reported that Indian shooters who were participating at the World Championships in Granada, Spain, were supposed to take flights directly to South Korea for the Games. But instead they had to first reach Delhi in order to apply for visas, thus missing out on valuable practice time and getting acclimatised to local conditions.

As is usually the case, there has been no official reason given for the mess, with the blame-game going back and forth between Indian federation officials and Asian Games organisers.

Shweta Chaudhry, after winning bronze in the women's 10m air pistol event on Saturday, was reasonably pleased with her performance but complained about jet lag after reaching Incheon from Granada.

"I could not perform up to my expectations in the world championships, which is my worst performance to date. Then I had lot of difficulties reaching Incheon from Spain and I was yet to get out of the jet lag. But I was confident that I had the potential to win a medal and I am happy to achieve it," she said.

India's only individual Olympic gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra also expressed anguish and disappointment over the seeming apathy of the country's sports administrators, saying he has "got used" to such things.

He wanted to check into the Asiad Games Village early but could not make it till Thursday evening, two days after his preferred date.

The rifle ace was in for disappointment on arrival too, as no Indian official was at the airport to receive him and hand over his accreditation card. He had to complete customs formalities for the release of his equipment on his own.

"What can I do? But it would have been nice to come in early," Bindra said.

He added: "I have got used to these things. Nothing surprises me anymore."

He said he can only concentrate on his event and give his best.