Indian pistol coaches may not go to Tokyo Olympics | More sports News


Jaspal Rana. (TOI Photo)

PUNE: Indian pistol team coaches – Jaspal Rana, Ronak Pandit and Samaresh Jung – who had already decided against attending the training camp in Zagreb, in all probability will miss the Tokyo Games too, it is learnt.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) had announced an extended training camp for the Tokyo-bound Indian shooters in Zagreb from May 11. However, considering the current situation due to the pandemic, the trio had expressed their unavailability to attend the 2-month-long camp.
It was expected that coaches may join the team in Tokyo, but that won’t be easy. “The NRAI will have to send the names of the coaches for accreditation by next week. With the current stand-off, it will be difficult for the coaches to join the team directly at the Tokyo Games,” a source told TOI.
For 15 shooters (19 starts), India will get 5 or 6 accreditations for coaches and support staff. The NRAI was earlier contemplating to rotate their coaches on the given accreditations according to the schedule but it seems the juggling won’t be needed now.
It is learnt that the coaches had sent a mail to the NRAI, suggesting a separate camp for pistol shooters in Delhi. However, the NRAI simply thanked them for their services.
NRAI president Ranidner Singh told TOI that he respects the coaches’ decision. “Given the pandemic, the coaches’ concern is understandable. However, the camp in Croatia is very much needed for the team,” he said. “It is not just safer for the shooters in Croatia, but it will also give them international exposure,” he added.
Other than the training, the shooters will also participate in the European Championships and the ISSF World Cup. Singh said if the coaches change their mind and want to join the camp, “he will do everything in his power to accommodate them.”
Manu to train under Ronak
In a surprising development, it’s been learnt that Manu Bhaker has opted to train under Ronak Pandit and not Rana, who has been her coach for the last three years. While Ronak was assigned to train Manu, Abhishek Verma had asked to train under Rana. Jung was supposed to train Saurabh ahead of the Games. However, the pistol shooters will now train under national coach Ved Prakash Pilania and foreign coach Pavel Smirnov.

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