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Talented Anish could earn Olympics shooting quota, says India coach Rana

Mahima Katariya

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India's shooting coach Jaspal Rana has high hopes from Anish Bhanwala and Sarabjot Singh.

New Delhi: India’s shooting team coach Jaspal Rana believes the talented Anish Bhanwala has potential to earn a quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Bhanwala bagged gold in 25m rapid fire pistol at the ongoing ISSF Junior World Cup at Suhl, Germany. Rana, the former Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medal winner, lauded the 16-year-old’s efforts.

“Anish was disciplined, honest and pure, basically not corrupted. If we talk about this medal, he is somebody who can get the quota place for the country,” Rana told to Sports Lounge.

“Whatever he has achieved is good but a lot of hard work more is required. The 2019 ISSF World Cup will be held in Rio next month, where India has a good chance of winning the Olympic quotas.

“Apart from Anish, other junior shooters will also be competing in Rio. So let’s see. If they can perform the way they are supposed to perform, they will get quota place, else they have to look forward to the Asian Championship in Doha,” he added.

Apart from Bhanwala, debutant Sarabjot Singh claimed gold in 10m air pistol event. The efforts of Bhanwala and Singh ensured India’s top position in the medals tally with 22 medals (nine gold, nine silver and four bronze). China are second with 21 medals (seven gold, silver and bronze each). Germany are third with nine medals (four gold, two silver, three bronze).

Inspite of praising the two emerging talents, Rana warned them of
potential pitfalls.

“Sarabjot is an excellent shooter. It was a great win for him. The Chinese shooters gave him a good fight. Our shooters have to be extremely careful. India needs to get one more gold to pull ahead of
China.”

Rana said the shooters’ focus should be on the Rio World Cup rather than thinking about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“We now have to prepare for the next World Cup in Rio and the Asian Shooting Championship in Doha. If they win in these two competitions then only they will be counted for the senior team and will be included for the Tokyo Olympics preparations.”

When asked if he would be keen to train these two talented shooters in an individual capacity, Rana said presently he is content being the national team coach.

“I’m a national coach, both of them have their personal coaches. Once they are in the national team fold it is my responsibility to train them,” Rana said.