Looking for the most professional shooting contingent at the National Shooting Championships? Don't look beyond Maharashtra. Looking for the most ill organised contingent? Don't look beyond Delhi.
Strange as it may seem, Delhi, who ruled the Nationals not so long back, don't even have a manager to escort the team to this faraway venue. “Our manager would be reaching here tomorrow. For the time being, the Delhi State Rifle Association (DSRA) has nominated a shooter to manage the players,” said a marksman on condition of anonymity.
“We are clueless about what is going on here,” said one of the 11 rifle marksmen. “As it is our preparations were seriously hampered by the renovation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Here, we are clueless about our practice schedules, match timings, etc,” he said.
In contrast, Maharashtra have officials to assist the players. Looking at the way the team members assemble and are given copies of the daily schedule, one is left wondering whether the DSRA is short of officials.
Wild cards aplenty
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has a perennial problem of not disclosing the wild card entries. It is perhaps one of the most closely guarded secrets of the federation.
A wild card shooter from Andaman & Nicobar Islands — and competing on the NRAI card because the Union Territory's association is not recognised or does not exist — shot a pathetic 520/600 in the 10m air rifle qualification round on Wednesday.
There could be more than two-dozen wild cards here but NRAI officials are not forthcoming with the names.