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Jaspal Rana shoots from the lip

Days before leaving for Asian Games, the ace shooter slams the SAI for offering shoddy training facilities to the Doha-bound team.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 17:46 IST

Barely days before leaving for Asian Games, ace shooter Jaspal Rana has slammed the Government and the Sports Authority of India for providing "shoddy" training facilities to the Doha-bound squad which he claimed had marred their medal-winning prospects.

Jaspal, who would compete in 25m Centre Fire and 25m Standard Pistol events in Doha, also urged star shooters Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Samresh Jung to speak against the sorry state of affairs in the sport.

"It will not be easy for us at Doha. It will not be a piece of cake at all. Asian Games is a prestigious event and there are countries like China, Korea and Japan who are all tough teams. It's tougher than the World Cup," Jaspal said.

"We do not have proper camps and coaching facilities. One coach is looking after so many players and so everybody is left on his own. Our ammunition does not reach in time and before every event there is a problem with ammunitions. This kind of atitute will not lead us to victory," he said on the sidelines of an award function of Petroleum Sports Control Board here last night.

Jaspal said he refused to participate in the Bangalore camp but the Sports Ministry wrote a letter asking him to join the camp or face the consequences.

"There was no point in joining the camp. The ammunition was not there. The training facilities were poor. I did not have any coach. When I asked for one I was told the foreign coach will look after everyone.

"I went to the Sports Ministry to clear my ammunition but nothing happened. I am still practising with borrowed ammunitions from my friends. More

"I do not have big expectations for myself in Doha but I will give my best shot," he said.

Shooting coaches Gyorik Csaba and Laszlo Szucsak also did not escape Jaspal's fury.

"A coach is there to train, not to select the team. And they should not keep one foreign coach for so long. That is when they start to meddle in all affairs and officials start following them," said Jaspal, who won the 25m Centre Fire Pistol gold in the 1994 Asian Games.

"The federation has got its limitations. The Government, Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India -- everyone has to be blamed. They should remember that they are all for the players and not the other way round," he said.

"They are spending so much money on the boundary wall of the Karni Singh Range for the 2010 Commonwealth Games but have doen nothing for the range and what about the present."

Jaspal also said that players should speak out these problems otherwise upcoming shooters would suffer.

"Ask any shooters about the ammunitions and they will tell you. They should come out openely. If Rajyavardhan Rathore, Samresh Jung, speak out people will listen to them because they are current stars. If they do not, then these problems will hurt them also so they should look beyond themselves and think about the entire fraternity.

"I have been shooting for the last 17 years and I am fighting all alone. I have got a lot of enemies," he said.

First Published: Nov 22, 2006 17:46 IST