Speculations are rife in shooting circles that Australian shooter Russell Mark, the 1996 Olympic Champion in Double Trap, is set to take charge as India’s new Trap coach starting from April. His wife Lauryn Mark, three-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist in Skeet, will likely be the new High Performance Manager tasked with developing junior shooters in both the Trap and Skeet disciplines, and not the Skeet coach as was reported previously by FirstSportz.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) was on the look-out for new coaches following India’s disastrous performance at the Tokyo Olympics. Accordingly a circular inviting applications for Indian and foreign coaches and High Performance experts was issued by the federation on January 11th 2022 with the deadline being 30th January.
A source tells FirstSportz on condition of anonymity: “Mr & Mrs Mark will commence their tenure by conducting a training camp in New Delhi next month and then accompany the Indian Team to the World Cup in Italy and then to the Junior World Cup in Germany. They will travel with the team to the remaining 2022 World Cup competitions, Asian Shotgun Championships, Asian Games and the World Championships in Croatia.”
The source further adds: “As part of their negotiations with the NRAI they have agreed to travel back and forth to Australia several times throughout the year when the Indian Team is out of competition or when they are in rest periods from intense training. Mrs Mark will be working closely with the NRAI and the Sports Authority of India to develop long term training and competition programs to continue beyond the next Olympic Games. The SAI has noted that her appointment will be seen as a great step forward in gender equality in Sports Administration and Management here in India.”
The Marks are said to have agreed upon a three year contract terminating at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
On the question of the new Skeet coach the source said that Juan Giha from Peru, the silver medalist at the 1992 Olympics, is the front-runner for the post. Giha has worked with Indian juniors in the past.