Road to Olympics: Shooters gung-ho about preparations
The Sports Ministry has spent over Rs 14 crore on providing training and foreign exposure to Indian shooters as part of its 'Operation Excellence' for this year's London Olympics.
"An amount of Rs 14.40 crore has been spent so far under 'Operation Excellence for London Olympics 2012' (OPEX 2012) scheme on the training/foreign exposure to shooters," the Ministry said.
Out of this, Rs 2.90 crore was spent on national coaching camps organised for training of 91 shooters (59 men and 32 women) under 19 coaches (including three foreign coaches) and five supporting personnel (including a foreign gunsmith).
The remaining amount of Rs 11.50 crore was utilised to fund foreign exposure trips.
Till now, eight coaching camps of a total duration of 124 days have been organised, stated Jagjit Singh, Secretary General, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) in a review meeting of the Olympic preparations called by Sports Minister Ajay Maken.
The Sports Minister also asked Singh to submit all the requests for gadgets and equipments as well as for foreign raining of players, if any, within two-three days so that the steering Committee clears all such proposals received from various Sports Federations in its meeting scheduled for February 6.
Highest number of shooters battle for 'quota place'
In the Olympics this year, highest number of shooters (11) will be participating since the start of "Quota Place" system in 1988.
Under the "Double Starter" rule, Gagan Narang and Annuraj Singh will be participating in more than one event.
In the run-up to the Olympics, Indian team participated in 13 International Competitions until last month.
For the first time, shooters were sent to Eley Ltd., UK, an ammunition manufacturing factory, for testing ammunition to help them select according to their rifle barrel size.
Apart from participation in various international competitions, shooters will be attending coaching camps abroad in conditions similar to London.
Foreign coaches bring in more credibility
Besides, the services of four foreign experts, three coaches and one support staff, have been employed.
They are -- Stanislav Lapidus (Rifle coach), Anatolli Piddubnyi (Pistol coach), Marcello Dradi (Shotgun coach) and Anatoliy Fedorchenko (Support staff- Gunsmith).
The financial assistance to Abhinav Bindra, Ronjan Sodhi and Manavjit Singh Sandhu has been approved under National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) scheme.
In the Beijing Olympics, 2008, nine shooters from India participated, with the highlight being the gold medal won by Bindra in men's air rifle event.
The shooters who have qualified for London Olympics: Gagan Narang, Hari Om Singh, Sanjeev Rajput, Ranjan Sodhi, Annuraj Singh, Rahi Sarnobat, Vijay Kumar, Abhinav Bindra, Shagun Chowdhary, Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Imran Hasan Khan.