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NRAI chief says youth will form core of senior shooting team after good performance by juniors

Written by Nitin Sharma | Chandigarh | Published: April 2, 2018 2:56:09 pm

national rifle association, ISSF Junior shooting World Cup, raninder singh, sports news, indian express
Yuvraj Raninder Singh in Mohali Sunday. (Express Photo by Jasbir Malhi)

Last week, the Indian junior shooting team made the nation proud by winning 22 medals including 9 gold, finishing a close second behind China’s tally of 25 medals in the ISSF Junior World Cup held in Sydney.


For Raninder Singh, president of National Rifle Association of India, youngsters will form the core of the Indian senior team in the coming future. Singh said this while addressing an event organised by the Punjab Rifle Shooting Association in Mohali where shooters including those who were part of the junior World Cup winning squad were felicitated.
Last week, the Indian junior shooting team made the nation proud by winning 22 medals including 9 gold, finishing a close second behind China’s tally of 25 medals in the ISSF Junior World Cup held in Sydney.
“This has happened for the first time that we matched China in terms of gold medals. Normally, we would finish fourth or fifth in the medals tally, but this performance was incredible. The credit should goes to the shooters and also the national coaches. When we started the junior programme three years ago, we wanted specialised training for youngsters. The NRAI gets Rs 27 crore annually for 290 athletes and 61 per cent of the amount is spent on the junior programme. That’s shows the kind of faith we have for the junior shooters,” said Singh, who is also the son of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.
Haryana shooter Manu Bhaker won the gold medal in women’s 10 m Air Pistol event in Sydney while Gujarat’s Elavenil Valarivan won the women’s 10 M Air Rifle event. The brother-sister duo of Anish Bhanwala and Muskan Bhanwala were the champions in men’s and women’s 25 M Rapid Fire pistol events respectively, which also gave India four individual gold medals.
In the ISSF Senior World Cup held in Mexico last month, the Indian team topped the medal tally with a total of nine medals including three gold. And now the NRAI president believes that dominance of Indian shooters will continue. “The junior shooters also get to train with foreign coaches which will add to their confidence. The senior skeet shooters are training under Atlanta Olympics champion Italian Ennio Falco while junior shooters will train under Piero Genga. Yes, there have been a few changes in the rules of events like Trap shooting. And as a mixed team event will be taking place in Olympics, I see more medals coming India’s way. The ISSF World Cup in Changwan will offer 60 quota places for Tokyo Olympics and in 2019, the ISSF World Cup in Delhi will offer 16 quota places. I see 12-20 Indian shooters bagging the quota places for 2020 Olympics,” said Raninder.
With shooting remaining an optional sport for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games and with reports emerging about the scrapping of shooting events in the 2022 event, Singh ascertained that the NRAI is still trying to pursue CGF to include shooting in the event. “The CGF ratified that shooting will be an optional sport in CWG. And it is up to the host country to decide about the optional events. The ISSF remains of the senior federations in the IOC Olympic programme and as an executive board member of ISSF, I had two meetings with CWF and we still are trying to include shooting. One of the main problems which the host cities update about the optional sport is the utilization of sports infrastructure after the games and that remains one of the major concerns. Shooting has evolved in recent times and we too are ready for changes,” Singh added.
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