All the misfires on and off the ranges | india | Hindustan Times
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All the misfires on and off the ranges

From falling roofs to lost guns, Indian shooting?s unsavoury moments were often on show in an otherwise fine year for the sport, writes Ajai Masand.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2006 00:56 IST

No sport in the world is without its share of controversies and ill lucks -- on and off the field. Indian shooting, despite turning a new leaf in 2006, had its fair share of minor aberrations.

Courting controversy

Double-Trap marksman RVS Rathore took a dig at the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee (DAGOC) after clinching a bronze at the Al Lusail Ranges, saying that the conditions had been altered to ensure that the top marksmen did not win.

The DAGOC had earlier sought an apology from the top Indian marksman for ‘allegedly misbehaving’ with the Games volunteers. In the end, the chapter was closed and the issue settled amicably.

The famous gun

For close to a fortnight in May, Rathore's famous gun became the talking point everywhere after it got lost in transit as the Olympic Games silver-medallist was returning after shooting down the double trap gold at the Cairo World Cup.

The airline company finally managed to find the gun but a little damage had been done. It was certainly a setback for Rathore. Thankfully, he was back to winning ways at the Asian clay pigeon championship in Singapore where he shot down another gold with a personal best score.

Howzatt Jaspal!

Triple gold-medallist at Doha, Jaspal Rana hogged headlines when he was wrongly declared the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of the Asian Games due to miscommunication (On whose part no one knows).

The faux pas resulted in jubilations back home and disappointment a couple of days later. The MVP finally went to a South Korean swimmer who was an outright winner. Jaspal was one of the five finalists.

Bindra gives backache

Air rifle supremo and world champion Abhinav Bindra's back problem turned serious and he had to skip the Asian Games. This came as a big dampener to the Games-bound squad and surely cost India the Big One. However, the Zagreb World Championship gold-medallist is fighting back in Munich under his physio's guidance. He looks set to claw back in the new year.

Range woes

The Karni Singh Ranges in Tughlakabad, New Delhi, once the best in the country, were plagued by poor maintenance, with campers bearing the maximum brunt in summers.

With air-conditioners not functioning properly, electrical short-circuits, the 10m-indoor range false ceiling almost on the verge of collapse and the Sports Authority of India running out of ammunition, the ranges didn't make for a pleasing picture. In the event, most of the camps were shifted to either Indore or Bangalore.