The last time India participated in the World University Games (in 2007), shooting was the only saving grace as both the medals (gold and bronze) were won by shooters.
But this time, it seems the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) and National Rifle Shooting Association of India (NRAI) do not appear keen that the shooters should do well at the World University Games, starting on August 13 in China.
The NRAI has announced the dates of the Kumar Surinder Singh Memorial Shooting Championship (August 10-19), which clashes with the dates of the Games, leaving the shooters in the lurch.
Participation in the Surinder Singh Memorial is important as it is part of the NRAI's selection policy for international tournaments and giving it a skip will deprive shooters of a place in the national squad.
On the other side, several shooters have complained that the trials conducted by AIU were not held in a proper manner.
"The AIU didn't bother to inform us about the World University Games. Had they told us, we would have changed the shooting calendar.
"Now, it's too late to change the dates of the Kumar Surinder Singh Memorial," said Baljit Singh Sethi, advisor to the NRAI. "Moreover, we've received complaints regarding the trials. The AIU lacks technical know-how but yet refuses to take assistance from us," he added.
Though a total of 12 shooters will be representing India at the Games in 10m rifle and pistol events (men and women), the AIU is not holding the camp at the Karni Singh Shooting Range but at Hansraj College, which has just six pulleys.
"We are in a fix. If we skip the Games, the university will be after our lives as it gives us fee concession and other facilities. If we skip the Surinder Singh Memorial, we can't make it to the national squad.
Secondly, the AIU is also playing spoilsport with its preference of the Hansraj College range over the Commonwealth Games shooting range," said a shooter, who is attending the camp for the World University Games.