Sports

Indian Shooting Team Withdraws From Season-Opening ISSF World Cup In Cairo

India will, however, be sending its team for the ISSF World Cup (Rifle/Pistol) in Granada, Spain from February 10 to 18. But there are only two events -- 10m air rifle and 10m air pistol for seniors and juniors -- scheduled there

The trio of Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (far right), Swapnil Kusale (c) and Akhil Sheoran
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India will not be competing in the season-opening ISSF World Cup in Cairo from January 24 as the national federation wants to give the shooters some "rest" and not "exhaust them" in a busy year, which also has a couple of Paris Olympic qualification events still to go.  (More Sports News)

However, the decision to skip the competition was taken only recently and has left a few top shooters, who planned their competition schedule well in advance, in a bit of a quandary.

National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) Secretary General Sultan Singh said the matter was being discussed by the "coaches, sports science team and everybody, and according it has been run through".

The Cairo World Cup will be held in all three disciplines -- pistol, rifle and shotgun -- and will conclude on February 1.

"We want to give them rest and not exhaust them. Everything is run through the training structure. We don't take any decision on the training part of it without keeping the shooters as well as coaches (in the loop). 

"All the shooters are aware of it; it is as per the laid out policy. All the shooters are cognizant of this," said Singh.

NRAI assistant secretary, Nimit Chopra, indicated the coaches wanted the shooters not to exhaust themselves in a busy year.

"Coaches want their shooters to rest and not participate in all the competitions. We have the Jakarta competition (Asia Olympic Qualification Rifle/Pistol, January 5-18) in which the full 'A' team is going," said Chopra.

"The Cairo World Cup (January 24-February 1) is immediately after the Olympic quota competition in Jakarta. The decision (not to send the team) was taken last week only.     

"We are also not sending the 'B' team, the reason being if we don't send 'A' team and only send 'B' team, then there are some QROG (Qualification Ranking Points for Olympic Games), which the 'B' team can accumulate and it will be a disadvantage for the 'A' team (when the Olympic selection trials take place in May next year ). That is why we have decided no one will go there (Cairo)."

NRAI will conduct a series of trials to select the Paris Olympic Games squad in May where only those topping in the exercise will represent the country, irrespective of whether they have earned the Games quota places for the country or not.

In shooting sport, an Olympic quota is won by the country and not by an individual.

India will, however, be sending its team for the ISSF World Cup (Rifle/Pistol) in Granada, Spain from February 10 to 18. But there are only two events -- 10m air rifle and 10m air pistol for seniors and juniors -- scheduled there.

A shooter told PTI on condition of anonymity that the scheduling should be done well in advance so that shooters have seamless preparations.

"We train for certain competitions and skip others. Our training is very, very systematic and any change can upset our form and rhythm. So, accordingly the federation should consider these things. Some shooters would have opted out of the Jakarta competition and trained for Cairo World Cup. Now they will miss both," the shooter said.

Another shooter added, the federation could have given an option between Jakarta and Cairo to its athletes.

"That (giving an option) could have been a good option," the shooter said.

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