Home SPORTS Abhinav Bindra roped in as ‘mentor’ to prepare shooting team for Paris...

Abhinav Bindra roped in as ‘mentor’ to prepare shooting team for Paris 2024

NEW DELHI: The failure of the country’s shooters to land a single medal at the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Games has forced the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) to knock on the doors of the Indian shooting’s stalwarts to guide the current lot of marksmen to Olympic glory at the Paris edition in 2024.
In its efforts, the NRAI has officially roped in India’s first individual Olympic gold medallist, Abhinav Bindraas ‘mentor’ to prepare the air pistol and rifle teams for the Paris Games.Bindra will be associated with the squad till the end of the ParisOlympics, scheduled from July 26 to August 11. Similarly, four-time Olympian trap shooter, Mansher Singhhas come on board as ‘mentor’ to train the shotgun team.
While Bindra hasn’t officially travelled with the team so far and has largely focused on imparting his game-time, coaching and technical knowledge to air pistol and rifle shooters through online sessions, Mansher has started accompanying the shotgun shooters to exposure trips and competitions.
“We have asked Abhinav Bindra to be the mentor of our pistol and rifle teams. He was kind enough to accept the role and expressed positive interest. He was part of the Asian Games committee and he is committed to take permission from the Delhi High Court for the same (Paris Olympics) to avoid conflict of interest charges. He has been guiding the shooters through virtual means and helping them prepare for Paris,” NRAI acting president Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo told TOI in an exclusive interaction.
“Similarly, we have got Mansher Singh to come on board as a mentor to the shotgun team to ensure that any differences the shooters may have — with their official coaches, the high-performance team or with NRAI — are resolved smoothly,” added Kalikesh, when asked how NRAI plans to manage probable differences which may arise among the Indian shooters, like the ones which were said to have contributed to the Tokyo 2020 debacle.
Kalikesh also informed that unlike the previous Olympic editions, the shooters this time would spend their final preparation days in India and leave for Paris directly from here.
“They start missing home and their familiar environment. Shooting is as much mental, as it is technical and physical. Also, the difference between our plans today and what was in Tokyo is performance tracking – both physically and mentally and injury-wise to link them to the time they take to reach peak performance. The war room for that is at the Karni Singh Shooting Range (KSSR) here. So, we will give them the necessary foreign exposure. But we will not let them go outside India for two months just before the Games, like last time when they were in Croatia’s Zagreb for the Tokyo Games preparations with nobody to monitor them. We believe that the last few days should be in India,” he said.
The NRAI chief also discussed in detail the reasons behind the recent changes in the pistol/rifle Olympic selection policy. In the previous policy announced after the Tokyo Games, while a set of four Olympic trials were incorporated in pistol and rifle for the first time, there were no finals.
“Today’s team is going to be nascent. Barring 1-2 shooters, most of the shooters will be new shooters. If you look at our quota winners today, Manu Bhaker is the only Olympian. Having spoken to a number of teams who have taken different approaches to shooting, we felt that when you have a pool of shooters who are at the same level, like we have in pistol and rifle, you should always go for a trial and not too much padding is given to anybody. Which is why we have kept the bonus points for quota winners within reach of other contenders and have offset that by including bonus points for a podium finish in the trials. So, you not only get the best shooter, but you also get the best shooter on current form. That’s what we are looking at,” he said.

Source link