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Will overhaul coaching staff, NRAI chief after shooters’ dismal show

Singh said that the performances was not on expected lines

IANS | Tokyo |

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president, Raninder Singh, said on Tuesday that there will be an “overhaul of coaching and support staff” after several top medal hopefuls in shooting kept disappointing one after another at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In 2016 also, after India’s disastrous show at the Rio Olympics, Singh had said that, “The NRAI has been liberal in nominating coaches to the 12-member shooting contingent (for 2016 Rio)” and that he was taking the blame for the debacle.

On Tuesday, after the mixed team pairs’ disastrous show in Tokyo in 10m air pistol and 10m air rifle events, Singh said, “Yes definitely the performances have not been on expected lines and I have spoken of an overhaul of coaching and support staff as I feel something is lacking in getting our shooters prepared for these big occasions.

“Because clearly the talent is there and we have seen it here as well. Having said that we still have starts left and the team is fighting, so let’s continue to back the team and I am sure we’ll get results. Post-mortems can wait till after the Games,” said Singh.

India’s Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary finished seventh in the 10m air pistol mixed team competitions on Tuesday, day four of the Olympics shooting competition at the Asaka Shooting Range.

After topping the first qualification round with a score of 586 out of 600, and showing glimpses of the form that made them win four world cup gold medals in 2019, Manu and Chaudhary fell short of the medals rounds by four points in the second qualification round, finishing with a score of 380 out of 400.

The second Indian pair of Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Deswal could not make it beyond the first qualification round, finishing 17th with a score of 564.

The two Indian pairs in the 10m air rifle mixed team event also could not progress beyond the first round of qualification. Elavenil Valarivan and Divyansh Singh Panwar shot a combined 626.5 for a 12thplace finish, while Deepak Kumar and Anjum Moudgil shot 623.8 to also finish outside the top eight at 18th spot.

Day five (July 28) has the trap competitions on schedule where India has no entry, but day six will see Rahi Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker compete in the women’s 25m pistol qualifications.