After CWG flop shot, federation to hire expert to boost shotgun shooters
Concerned by the shotgun shooters’ poor overall show at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) plans to hire a foreign high performance director to prepare the team for the Jakarta Asian Games (Aug 18-Sept 3) and then the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Out of India’s 11-member squad at the CWG, Shreyasi Singh won gold in women’s double trap and Ankur Mittal won bronze in the men’s event. However, the medals came in a discipline excluded from the next Olympics.
After her double trap victory, Shreyasi slipped to fifth in trap. Varsha Varman (double trap), Saniya Sheikh (skeet) and Mohd Ashab (double trap) all finished fourth. Seasoned trap shooter Manavjit Sandhu too missed podium, finishing eighth.
Chief national coach for shotgun, Mansher Singh, blamed lack of mental toughness in some of the top shooters taking on a highly competitive field, which he said was worrying. “Indian shooters finished fourth in three events -- women’s skeet and double trap (men and women). It meant we were close but yet missed,” said the former India trap shooter. “After a certain level, it’s the mental side of the sport that matters and needs to be improved. If we don’t start working now, we will continue to miss.”
In his report to the federation, Mansher has recommended that the federation should take steps to incorporate mental training.
The NRAI has requested the sport’s world governing body to suggest names for high performance director and set a May 15 deadline for candidates to respond.
However, Italian experts – Marcello Dradi (trap and double trap) and Ennio Falco (skeet) will continue to oversee training of the national squad.
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