New Delhi: The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) is looking at Incheon in South Korea as the final training-cum-acclimatisation hub for its shooters before they board the flight to Tokyo for the Olympic Games, starting on July 23.
Following a record haul of 30 medals, including 15 gold, at the recent World Cup in New Delhi, the federation wants to give its shooters the best possible platform to excel at the quadrennial event and they are planning a long camp in Incheon as South Korea and Japan have the same time zone and climate and will help Indian shooters acclimatise.
The NRAI is pinning its hopes on the South Korean authorities to give them an exemption from their stringent quarantine rules. India were recently forced to skip the ISSF World Cup in Changwon from April 16-27 because of South Korea’s mandatory two-week quarantine rules, which would have come in the way of the shooters’ training.
“We are very keen to have the training-cum-acclimatisation camp in South Korea for our pistol, rifle and shotgun shooters provided their authorities exempt us from their mandatory 14-day quarantine. We are in touch with them,” said NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia.
“If that doesn’t materialise, we’ll have no option but to organise the camp here in New Delhi, though the conditions will be quite hot and humid.”
However, before their proposed trip to South Korea, the federation is also planning an international trip to Europe. The shotgun shooters may get a training-cum-exposure trip to Lonato, Italy, which will also host the ISSF World Cup from May 7-17.
“A final call will, however, be taken during the selection committee meeting either on Sunday or Monday. The committee, comprising Indian and foreign coaches for pistol/rifle/shotgum and the NRAI chairman, will also selecte the 15 shooters who will compete at the Olympics.”