India's 10m Air Rifle Team's Training Cut Short Due to Time Slot Issue
The Women's 10m Air Rifle event is on 24 July while the men's event is on the next day at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympics is all set to open and the problems and controversies have not stayed away. For India’s 10m air rifle shooters were unable to train as they would have liked at the Asaka Shooting Range due to an issue arising out of the distribution of time slots.
The Indian shooters were only afforded 20 minutes.
While the other Indian shooters trained for more than two hours, the rifle teams, including Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan, who have events lined up on the first competition day on 24 July, saw their practice sessions reduced to less than half an hour.
"This was due to some issue over time slots as athletes from all competing nations train at the same venue," a National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) was quoted as saying by PTI.
"Today the training took place for about 2-2.5 hours in the morning session. The 10m air rifle teams got it for 20-30 minutes."
The women's 10m air rifle will open on Saturday and the men begin on Sunday.
India will be represented by Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar in the men's 10m rifle event.
The likes of 10m air pistol shooters Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Apurvi, and Elavenil have events on the first competition day. Others such as Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal, Deepak, and Divyansh will be shooting on the second day.
"While it was given that those in action on Saturday would skip, the other four have their pre-event testing on Saturday, so it was deemed wise to miss the opening ceremony as far as these are concerned," he said.
At the Games, which kick off from 23 July, shooting events are spread across the first 10 days.
The Indian shooters underwent their first training session in Tokyo on Monday.
The Indian team has eight rifle, five pistol and two skeet shooters, besides six coaches and a physiotherapist.
Before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Indian shooters consistently dominated the sport, finishing on top of the table in four ISSF World Cups, in 2019.
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