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Poor quality, quantity of food leaves India’s top shooters hungry and fuming

Hungry in Baku - Indian shooting team training for the forthcoming World Cup are unhappy with the quantity and quality of the meals being served at their training camp in Azerbaijan.

other sports Updated: Jun 02, 2017 23:22 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
ISSF World Cup,Indian shooters,Commonwealth Games
Indian shooters are having issues with the food being served at the World Cup training camp in Azerbaijan.(PTI)

The Indian shooting squad currently training in Baku for the World Cup in Gabala has been forced to train on empty stomach. The food served to the country’s elite shooters is not up to the standard and, most of the time, the quantity served is not enough to feed the entire contingent consisting of 20 shooters and four officials.

After competing in the second World Cup in Munich, the team is stationed in Baku, Azerbaijan, for a two-week training camp. From there, they will go to Gabala for the third World Cup, starting June 6.

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“Forget about quality, the quantity being served is not enough and most of the time, many of us have to go without proper meal,” said an Indian squad member. “For breakfast, we get an egg, two slices of bread and juice…most of the time, the non-veg served during lunch is half cooked and has a weird smell. I have skipped lunch on several occasions during these last 10 days,” added another shooter. “We don’t have issues with the training facilities, but food has become a major issue.”

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The shooters have also raised the issue with accompanying officials. In one post on their WhatsApp group, addressed to the officials, a shooter wrote, “…at least five people are still waiting to eat and chicken is already finished. You will have to strongly express your displeasure to the organiser. They have taken money from us and they better ensure that each one of us is fed well. Food being different and not tasty is bad enough but food getting over is just unacceptable, what have we paid for? Just rice is remaining! In morning there was no milk. We can’t be taken for a ride like this every day (sic).”

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Reportedly, the contingent is being charged $40 per head for the meals. “These issues are really distracting and have a negative impact on our preparations. The World Cup is a big event and if we really want to match the best in the business then we have to give importance to all the facets of preparation,” said a Commonwealth and Asian Games medallist.

“We have come to know about the issue…we have already flagged the organisers,” said Rajiv Bhatia, secretary National Rifle Association of India. “It is for the first time we are having a camp in Baku, so we didn’t have much idea. We have only one lodging option because of its proximity to the range, which is quite far from the city. Now that the food issue has cropped up, it will have to be sorted out,” he added.

First Published: Jun 02, 2017 18:07 IST