Shooter Sarnobat keen to train at home despite NRAI order to join camp
International pistol shooter from Maharashtra Rahi Sarnobat is in a spot of bother ever since the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has made it mandatory for all those who have qualified for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games to report for the national camp, commencing at the Dr Karni Singh Ranges from August 1.
“Kolhapur is under complete lockdown and I might have to skip to the camp. Things are so bad that we have had to stock up on essentials,’’ the Jakarta Asian Games gold medallist said, adding, “The week-long lockdown will end on Sunday, but indication are it will be extended till July 31.’
Sarnobat had won an Olympic quota for the country in 25m sport pistol when she won gold at the Munich World Cup last year. The Arjuna Awardee says it will be difficult to attend the camp. ‘’The NRAI has made it mandatory to attend the camp, but I will request them to consider (my case) as I cannot travel.”
Sarnobat said she had heard about the national camp in the news but was still waiting for the circular. ‘’It’s a good initiative from the federation. Some shooters living in the vicinity of Delhi can travel by road but those like me, who are staying far off, will face problems as ammunition cannot be carried in flights these days,’’ she said.
Sarnobat also denied she was planning to change her coach, Munkhbayar Dorjsuren, the Mongolian-born German who has been with her for the last three years and whose contract ended in May. ‘’That’s wrong. Since the Olympics have been postponed and there’s uncertainty about the international calendar, I did not sign a new contract,’’ she added.
The Kolhapur shooter has been training since May at a local range. ‘’Being an elite shooter, the facilities is open for me but not for the general public. I’m training in isolation and there is complete safety. We don’t have electronic ranges and use paper targets… it’s ok since international competitions will commence only next season.’’
Kolhapur-based rifle shooter Tejaswini Sawant, who won a quota in 50m three-positions, is also training at the same ranges. Sawant’s training too has been disrupted for a week due to the lockdown but hopes to resume training soon.
‘’Taking a short break is good. I’m doing some physical fitness at home,” said Sarnobat.
With ammunition stocks diminishing, Sarnobat recently took 5,000 rounds of .22 cartridges for training from state-run Krida Prabodhini on loan. ‘’It will last me five months and I will return when I import,’’ she said.
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