Pistol coach Jaspal Rana to join Olympic-bound shooters in Croatia
Express News Service
CHENNAI: After initially opting to skip the Croatia tour, pistol coach Jaspal Rana is set to join the Olympic-bound shooting team in Croatia next month. Owing to personal reasons, the trio of Rana, chief pistol coach Samaresh Jung and high performance manager Ronak Pandit had initially decided against going to Europe. As reported by this daily, Ronak and Jung is set to join the team soon.
The trio’s initial omission from Croatia trip had raised a few eyebrows. Rajiv Bhatia, National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) secretary, also confirmed the development and said the federation is working on Rana’s travel plans.
Rana clarified on Wednesday that the NRAI, the governing body of the sport in the country, never ignored them. “I’m going to Croatia, but the dates are yet to be finalised. I have started the paperwork and I’ll apply for the visa on Monday. It was not like the federation did not want us. We wanted the camp to be held here (New Delhi) and we had opted out,” Rana said.
Confirming that he had gotten in touch with the federation, Rana said that he’s ready to focus on the bigger picture. “I’m happy that the president is the person who thinks out of the box and he’s somebody who wants to do good for the sport. So that’s a big plus. The bigger interest should be the country,” she added.
Rana is someone who’s regarded as a no-nonsense coach and has had a big influence on young guns like Manu Bhaker, Saurabh, to name a few.
Even though they were outstanding in recent years, Rana – a prominent shooter himself during his youngster day – does not want them to lose sight at this crucial juncture. “They are doing well. But we have to be watchful. Nobody stays on top forever,” the Dronacharya awardee coach said.
After dearth of competition in 2020 (post start of pandemic), the shooters, with the support of NRAI and SAI, have had some form of activity to gauge where they stand ahead of the Olympics.
Now, they are currently taking part in the European Championships in the Minimum Qualification Score (MQS) section and they’ll continue to train in Croatia before taking part in the ISSF World Cup next month in Osijek.
“They are lucky that they’ll be participating in the Olympics and they are in good touch. So, let’s see. It has be difficult for everyone. We got the advantage of shooting in the Delhi World Cup and there were many top shooters giving us our shooters good competition. The government has also spent a lot of money for this training camp,” he added.
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