NRAI hangs coaches, how about some people within?

NRAI hangs coaches, how about some people within?

Four months after the disastrous performance at the Tokyo Olympics, the National Rifle Association of India has behaved liked a hangman, sacking all the coaches who were hired by them.

Pistol, rifle, shotgun, coaches in all the disciplines have been booted out, according to reports. Prominent names like Jaspal Rana, Mansher Singh, Suma Shirur, Ronak Pandit, in addition to the foreign coaches – Pavel Smirnov and Oleg Mikhailove  are all out. The two foreign coaches had left India a few months ago as their contracts had not been renewed.

What takes the cake this time is the NRAI has written emails to the coaches that their services are not required. However, one should not be surprised if a month from now some are re-hired, as the whole review process, post the Tokyo Olympics lacked transparency. For the sake of credibility and being authentic, the review/post mortem should have been given to an independent body. That did not happen.

Hang the coaches, fine. But can the NRAI get away so easily after crores of rupees were wasted. This money is from the tax payers kitty, so the public has every right to know what transpired in these review meetings. If at all the effort was a sincere one, post the report on the NRAI website.

Some of the sacked coaches said they are not one bit surprised by the emails received. It is as if they knew their fate well in advance. If coaches can be hanged, how about some people in the NRAI who were involved in planning, selection and the great picnic (national camp) which was organised in Croatia before the Olympics?

Croatia was fun, party and anything but serious training. That is why the shooters flopped in Tokyo as hard hours had not been spent in training. Past is past, what about the present and the future?

Results seen in the recently concluded National championship at three venues, New Delhi, Bhopal and Patiala have not thrown up much. Names of Esha Singh and Naamya Kapoor are to be heard. They are young and touted to have potential. As regards seasoned Rahi Sarnobat and Manu Bhaker, they are still good enough to win gold in sports pistol and air pistol events.

After the Tokyo Olympics, the ISSF junior world championship was held. India won a lot of medals in it. So, the coaches who were part of that campaign have also been axed. Then came the President’s Cup, where, too, Manu did well.

The bigger mystery is what is happening to the famous rifle shooters like Elavenil Valarivan, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil. None of them finished on the podium in the Nationals at Bhopal. It suggests from Tokyo till now there has been no change in their performance.

The NRAI is talking about hiring a high performance director. The way Pavel Smirnov was treated and hounded out by the desi coaches, any foreign coach will think twice before coming to India. The next Olympic cycle leading to the 2024 Paris Olympics commenced long ago. Finding good coaches from abroad is next to impossible.

In 2022, the Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou. How the shooters are going to prepare is a mystery. The NRAI has made some changes in its selection policy and it appears scores taken into account from the National and a trial in January will determine the team for future ISSF World Cups. This is a clerical way of functioning on NRAI’s part.

If nobody has been hired for coaching till now, what happens to the shooters?

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