Indian shooters capable of winning 4 medals at Paralympics, says national chief coach
Indian para shooters have the temperament to pull off some good results at the Tokyo Games, says chief national coach JP Nautiyal, who is expecting a haul of at least four medals at the Paralympics.
In a first, a record 10 para shooters, have booked quota places for the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24. At the Rio Games, only one shooter – Naresh Sharma – had attained the qualifying berth in rifle events.
"Everyone is working very hard and staying focused. And I am confident that they will produce good results. I am expecting at least four medals including gold from the team," Nautiyal told PCI.
"It has been a great journey for the entire team who have shown great results in the last few years. Many of them also have good temperament to pull off good results in the finals," he added.
The 10-member team, including top pistol shooters Singhraj and Manish Narwal, is currently undergoing six hours of training every day that includes physical and mental training, live shooting, dry firing, strengthening and stretching at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting range.
"It's a balanced team with young and senior players and many of them are coming out with excellent scores in the training that has been ongoing since last month," said the Shooting Technical Committee (STC) president.
Nautiyal's biggest concern remains the mental health of the athletes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A lot of countries have been doing very well in the recent past, especially Ukraine and Russia. Tokyo 2020 will definitely be challenging.
"But my biggest worry is keeping the team safe and healthy in this Covid-19 situation. A lot of factors including mental strength will play an important role on the day,” he added.
Men: Manish Narwal (P1, P4), Singhraj (P1, P4), Deepender Singh (P1), Deepak (R1, R6, R7), Sidhartha Babu (R3, R6), Swaroop Mahavir Unhalkar (R1), Akash (P3, P4), Rahul Jakhar (P3).
Women : Avani Lekhara (R2, R3, R6, R8), Rubina Francis (P2).