Olympics-bound shooters to be based in Zagreb
India’s shooting squad will be based in Zagreb, Croatia, for three months and will fly out from there for the Tokyo Olympics.
A team of 15 shooters accompanied by coaches and a few support staff will leave for Zagreb on May 11. The contingent has been asked to report to Delhi on Tuesday and spend a week in quarantine. The shooters and coaches will also be vaccinated during this time. The squad will then leave for Zagreb through a chartered flight.
They will take part in European Championship in the MQS section, from May 20. After the competition they will stay back in Zagreb for training and fly out for the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled on July 23.
“The team will be directly going to participate in the Tokyo Olympics from there. The Croatian Shooting Federation is making all the arrangements,” said National Rifle Association of India in a statement.
“The NRAI has also made arrangements for a chartered flight for the entire squad to fly to Zagreb in order to nullify the threat of contracting infection to the maximum. All members of the squad including coaches and officials would be vaccinated by May 06 before their departure.”
With a second wave sweeping through the country and travel restrictions being imposed on Indians, NRAI has been looking to send out the shooters to train abroad. The initial plan was to come back to India and train in Delhi but with the alarming situation in the country it was felt that shooters should be based abroad.
“The situation is still very fluid but we have got permission from the Croatian federation. They will have to carry a 48hr negative RT-PCR report and stay in quarantine three for a week. The visas and other things required for travel are being worked out,” said an NRAI official.
The NRAI has also allowed private coaches and support staff of the shooters to be part of the squad. Among the personal coaches, Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Panwar will have their own coaches.
“There were several plans in place but this has been finally worked out. We will keep our fingers crossed still we reach there,” said a national coach.
“The shooters will also get to train with Croatian team. They have an upgraded range in an Army facility and same targets that will be used in Tokyo,” said the coach.