The 15 member Indian shooting team is scheduled for a training cum competition tour in Zagreb due the risks prevailing in India with the arrival of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and they have now departed for the same.
With the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic averaging 52,000 cases last week in India, the country is no longer eligible for conducting any sport events or training sector as there are high risks involved. India has standard shooting sectors in Delhi and Mumbai but traveling to those cities has a high risk of being exposed to the virus, leading to the shifting of base.
The Indian contingent is now scheduled for a European Championships in Osijek (May 20 to June 6) and the combined ISSF World Cup (June 22 to July 3) in Croatia.
Indian contingent depart to Croatia
Rifle shooter Anjum Moudgil spoke about leaving India for Croatia and said, “I think Croatia must be better than India currently (in terms of COVID-19 situation) and being with the team also gives you confidence. I don’t see any problem from being away from home for three months.”
After reaching Croatia, the Indian contingent is administered undergo a seven day quarantine in a bio-secure bubble. After that they will start participating in the upcoming events as scheduled and then fly to Tokyo to take part in the Olympic event on June 17.
“SAI has arranged a chartered flight for us and making a sort of bio-bubble also there in Croatia,” said the 25-year-old from Chandigarh.
“With a ‘Bharat Mata ki Jay’ we get ready to depart for Croatia. From there straight to #Tokyo2020 Olympics. 80 days in total. The Indian Shooting team needs your blessings to give their best,” was tweeted by one of the coaches Suma Shirur. Sports minister Kiren Rijiju replied to the same wishing all shooters good luck.
Huge expectations to target gold
India currently holds a good haul of medals in Olympic history from shooting and the Indian sports minister has high expectations over the performance of Indian shooting team in the upcoming Olympic event.
“Shooting is one of the premier sports at the moment. We have huge expectations from shooting and India has a huge reservoir of talent at grassroots level. We have maximum qualification in Tokyo Olympics from shooting,” said Rijiju at the inauguration ceremony of a world class Sports Hostel at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi.
The Sports minister has also asked the Indian contingent to follow the COVID-19 protocols of the other countries, focus on training and wished them success in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. It is noteworthy that all the shooters who are part of the Indian contingent were administered with COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month.