India shooting body to draw up training plan for Olympic shooters
India’s shooting federation will draw up a training plan for its Olympic probables, whose preparation has been halted because of the nationwide lockdown to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, and the disruption of the international calendar.
Senior National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) officials, headed by its president Raninder Singh, held a conference with coaches and selectors on Tuesday to finalise the programme, which will be submitted to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for approval.
“There would be no international competition and exposure tour till December. Thus the entire focus would be on the training of the top shooters. The coaches will chalk out the plan within a week and it would be forwarded to SAI for approval,” NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia said.
The meeting also discussed ways to help the training of a few shooters who are stuck at home and don’t have even basic equipment to do dry training (simulation).
“Coaches are in touch with the shooters. They are trying to see what best they can do in this situation, how to tweak their training programmes so that the shooters are in a good mental frame,” said a national coach.
India earned a record 15 quota places for the Tokyo Olympics, but with no major international competition this year---all three World Cups have been cancelled---it will be a challenge for the shooters to maintain their form. The New Delhi World Cup cancellation was announced on Monday.
NRAI organised trials on March 20-21 for top shooters to complete the selection process. However, the selection committee meeting could not be held as the trials were halted after the first day, and the lockdown was declared in Delhi the next day.
Bhatia said there was no discussion in the conference about the national squad selection for the Olympics. “There was general discussion on training only,” he said. There is some anxiety among shooters for the Tokyo squad to be settled early as the quota places are for the country and NRAI can make changes to the squad if it believes that would improve medal chances.