It’s back to school for our national shooters.
Headmaster Raninder Singh, NRAI president, has cracked the whip.
Air rifle, pistol and shotgun shooters have to minimally attend 70% of the training camps.
Else they will not be allowed to represent the country at international events.
The immediate trigger for this rule change are the “baseless” sexual harassment charges against national coach Stanislav Lapidus by Anjali Bhagwat, Suma Shirur, Sanjeev Rajput, Ayonika Paul, Lajja Gauswami, Tejaswani Sawant and Kuheli Ganguly.
“When you don’t attend the national camps, how can you accuse him (Lapidus) of not attending to you? Most of the time our top shooters remain absent from the camp.”
The rule affects ‘hobbyist‘ Abhinav Bindra and army shooters Jitu Rai and Vijay Kumar most.
The policy , however, is quite progressive—for an Indian body.
Young and single mothers can miss camp during emergencies.
20 elite shooters had skipped the recently conducted senior national camp in Thiruvananthapuram.
At the same camp, 14 army shooters had received orders to report back to their units for selection to the World Military Games in South Korea from October 2-11.
The trials were scheduled for July 2. The national camp concluded on July 6.
An NRAI representative said:
“The Army told us about their selection trials at the last minute. NRAI was always clear in its scheduling that the shooters will have to report for the camp after the World Cup trials. Army never informed us in advance about their trials, otherwise we would have worked out a solution. NRAI has requested them to postpone their trials by a week so that their shooters can report to them after July 6.”
The Army later rescinded its orders.
The shooting camp was also hit by a food poisoning episode with at least 12 participants hospitalized.
Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Apurvi Chandela and Abhinav Bindra are the only shooters to have secured quota places for the Rio Olympics based on their international performances.
A maximum of 30 quota places (two each) in 15 disciplines are available to every country.