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Gameplan for future.

THREE Olympics, four medals. That's a stat any Indian sport will be envious of, and if National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh is to be believed, this is only the beginning of the shooting success story in the country.

" We did very well in London; if God had been a little more gracious, we would've walked away with four medals. But as far as Rio is concerned, we have an intensive programme in place now," he told M AIL T ODAY on Friday on the sidelines of the 56th National Shooting Championship Competitions here.

" We have a sanction, in principle, from the Sports Authority of India to bring in a more specialised system of dealing with our shooters.

Under this, we have divided the programme into seniors and juniors, each backed up by not just Indian support staff and coaches, but also specialist foreign coaches.

" We have been talking to a lot of them, and some of the top names have given us their tacit approval.

By the end of January, they should be in India to sign their contracts and begin work." The NRAI is shifting more and more focus on junior shooters, with an eye not just on Rio 2016, but also the 2020 Olympics.

" For the next two years, quotas are not available at World Cups.

So our focus is on the junior and youth categories, which is why we have made it mandatory for the MQS or two extra shooters at each World Cup to be juniors, so that we can prepare them not just for 2016 but also 2020 Olympics, as per the directives of the SAI," he said.

On the need for a specialist sports psychologist to be attached to the shooting team, Raninder said: " A pistol shooter has different brainwaves to an air rifle shooter, which is completely different to a shotgun shooter.

" We can provide a general sounding board, but finding that specific niche doctor is difficult.

We will, however, be forwarding applications of each individual case as per their needs once they have earned their stripes, in the form of quota places." Asked why the NRAI was conducting the national championships virtually days before the new ISSF rules come into effect, the active trap shooter said: " The general assembly of the ISSF ratified rules just last month. Now it is impossible to have all that imported technology in place within 30 days across all the ranges in India, more so because in many cases, manufacturers have not even started making them yet.

Secondly, none of our shooters have trained with those rules yet. Which is why we have decided that the first trials, too, will be held according to the old rules, but the second trial will be conducted later as per the new rules, after a couple of camps."

The International Olympic Committee's decision to suspend the Indian Olympic Association ( IOA) has come as a national shame, and Raninder said there was only one way out of the mess.

" The IOC is not against the sports code, they consider it our local issue. But what they are saying is the Olympic charter does not allow any imposition. My federation has adopted the sports code in a voluntary manner. So tomorrow when the ISSF writes to me at the behest of the IOC, enquiring ' are you being interfered with', I can say that no, we have adopted whatever passages we wanted voluntarily.

" It is now part of our constitution and we are ratifying it at our Extraordinary General Body Meeting on Sunday. This is what the IOA has to do, but its members are unwilling because they will be left jobless," he said.

SHREYASI WINS GOLD

Bihar's Shreyasi Singh won the first gold medal of the championships, triumphing in women's trap with a score of 65+ 14. The experienced Seema Tomar ( 58+ 14) held her nerve to win silver in a shoot- off, while Ria Rajeshwari Kumari, daughter of six- time Olympian Randhir, won the bronze in just her second nationals.

In men's trap, Zorawar Singh and Manavjit Singh Sandhu lead with scores of 95/ 100, while in men's 10m air rifle, Chain Singh of army leads with 594/ 600.

Association finalises deals with top foreign coaches and they will come to India in January to sign their contracts

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Dec 22, 2012
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