National Rifle Association of India President Raninder Singh developed a plan for the Tokyo Olympics and stressed that the health and safety of shooters will be a top priority. In an exclusive conversation with Mail Today on Tuesday, Raninder said he took stock after consulting all stakeholders in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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What is most important to me is that all of my shooters are protected in every way possible. Their health and well-being are the main factors to take into account. I have discussed this with the Indian Olympic Association, the Department of Sports, and the Sports Authority of India. The President of NRAI has ruled out any unwanted overseas travel and has stated that the best facilities, coaching, and physical support will be provided to shooters who will prepare for the postponed Tokyo Olympic.
Right now, we’re looking at three possible scenarios that may unfold before us. If things get better by July, we will house the shooters in a residential complex near the Karni Singh chains. It will almost be like a quarantine, without interaction with strangers and safely. Food, food, everything will be taken care of and the coaches will also be there only. We have a link with Manav Rachna University, so kiosks will also be available.
He said the other scenario is that a vaccine hits the market, which means that all shooters and support staff will take the hit. Finally, if the situation remains unpredictable until next year, my shooters will be fully prepared to board the flight and fly directly to Tokyo and shoot the Olympic2020. In the past, Indian shooters have traveled abroad, either to Italy or to other European countries. I will not allow anyone to fly and it is a firm order. I also spoke to the department.
No technical adjustments need to be made and if people need to adjust their grip (pistol shooters), this can be done in India. We have the people for that. There is no situation that I see where snipers have to shoot to change their rod and other stuff. It is a way they will all be with the team and there will hopefully be no problem.
“This means that until the end of the year there will be no international competition. What happens if the situation improves dramatically around the world will be assessed later, “he said.
As vice president of the world body (ISSF), Raninder said that no international shooting competition would take place before each participating nation can compete. The expenses of the President of NRAI will not be a factor.
Pistol and rifle shooters will import equipment that can help them train on indoor courts inside their homes. SUIS ASCOR equipment orders have already been placed for certain shooters. Regarding team selection for the Tokyo Olympics next July, Raninder said they had done their homework. Priority will be given to shooters who have won quota places in India.
However, for each discipline in which India will participate, we will have the support of two additional shooters. It will be a very healthy situation and all these shooters, around forty, will be part of the large camp planned. Likely, another quota may also come to India. This, of course, will be finalized later. Currently, India has 15 quota places in filming.