Hassled shooters get down to practice

first_imgWhen they arrived in the Capital on Saturday night from Pune, little did Indian pistol and rifle shooters know that it was going to be a long night for them. After suffering a six-hour delay due to mismanagement by the Games Organising Committee, they finally got to the Games Village and slept, which delayed their planned practice session at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges by a few hours.Finally, the shooters, accompanied by chief national coach Sunny Thomas and Stanislav Lapidus, the foreign coach for rifle shooters, reached the range at around 1: 30pm and got down to the business of acclimatising to the conditions.While Gagan Narang practised for his first event out of the six where he’ll be competing – the 10m air rifle – pistol ace Samaresh Jung warmed up for his 25m standard pistol event.Hariom Singh, who clinched an Olympic quota place for India by finishing sixth in 50m prone rifle at the World Championships in Munich last month, had a light practice session as well.”My ammunition, which my rifle has been attuned to, will arrive tomorrow. So today I had a short session with the ammunition that the organisers are providing here,” Singh told MAIL TODAY . On his part, coach Thomas said he will favour lighter sessions hereon. ” We had very good sessions in Pune and the shooters were given a heavy workload.But now, the workload will be reduced – maximum three hours per day – which will be enough to get a feel of the range,” Thomas told Mail Today . Speaking about the perception that shooting would be India’s biggest medal- winner at the Games, Thomas said: “We won 27 medals in Melbourne (2006), while in Manchester (2002), we had won 24.advertisementTo move from 27 to even 28 will be a very tough task because we have almost come to the maximum we can get out of the Games. Shooting is a sport where you can’t predict because it can depend on your mental condition, the environment etc.We are the reigning champions and on top of that, we are competing on home soil. So that is adding to the tension and the pressure.” However, Thomas said he had full confidence in the team members, who were all in good form at the camp.”Our air rifle team is a dream team because on the one hand you have an Olympic champion (Abhinav Bindra) and on the other, you have the world record holder (Gagan Narang).Abhinav took a break – which he needed – and now he’s coming back into form very well and everyone else is in good form.”In shotgun, we have another dream team in double trap – one senior world record holder (147 out of 150) in Ronjan Sodhi and the junior world record holder in Asher Noria (146).What else can you hope for? Obviously you can look to fine-tune everything before the competitions, but I’m not one who will look for shortcomings everywhere. I am teaching all our shooters to keep a positive frame of mind.”last_img

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