The National Rifle Association of India president, Raninder Singh, has assured that all the COVID protocols and safety measures are in place for the World Cup in rifle, pistol and shotgun to be staged at the Dr. Karni Singh Range here from Friday.
Addressing the media along with the Olympic quota winners on Wednesday, Raninder said that Indian shooters had done exceptionally well to prepare their best for the global competition, despite lack of adequate international exposure for about 15 months.
Men’s skeet shooters Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa did compete in the shotgun World Cup in Egypt recently, and will be keen to step it up and tune themselves for the Tokyo Games.
India will have an overwhelming presence with 57 of the total 294 shooters in competition. As many as 53 countries are in the fray even though many leading shooting nations are missing out owing to COVID related travel constraints.
The NRAI president thanked the Union government, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, apart from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for their support to conduct the competition.
Raninder conceded that there was a lot of responsibility in hosting an event of such magnitude and that his team was ready for the challenge.
He also hoped that India would add another Olympic quota, the 16th, in men’s rapid fire pistol, through the world ranking system.
Fourteen of India’s 15 Olympic quota winners were present at the media conference and expressed their confidence doing well. They were unanimous in suggesting that they had utilised the available time judiciously to hone their skills, which would not have been possible in the normal course owing to a regular string of competitions.
After the pre-event training on Thursday, the World Cup will have its first set of events on Friday.