Shooters, including Olympic hopeful, will be back to action after nearly 11 months when the attend the 10-day national selection trials starting at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges in New Delhi from January 5.
The trials is meant to pick the national squad for the 2021 international shooting calendar.
The trials, says Samresh Jung, head coach of the pistol shooting team will give a clear picture of the status of the country’s leading shooter.
There hasn’t been any competition as the calendar was disrupted by pandemic. Hence it will be good platform to make an honest assessment of the athletes, he said.
The trials in rifle and pistol commencing January 6 will see the likes of Asian Games champion in 10m air pistol Saurabh Chowdhary and top rifle shooter Divyansh Singh Panwar displaying their skills. Both have earned Olympic quota place in their respective events. While shotgun trials starting January 5, will be held in trap and skeet in both men and women.
The national team is expected to compete in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) calendar for 2021, starting with the World Cup in shotgun from February 22 at Cairo, Egypt.
While combined World Cup in all three disciplines—rifle, pistol and shotgun will be held at New Delhi from March 18 at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges. Changwon in Korea will host the second combined World Cup from April 16 and National Test Event in Tokyo will commence from April 25.
The trials though to some extent would indicate shooting activities returning to normal, impact of pandemic will be felt as the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has restricted the field to few in each of the discipline during the January trials. In normal circumstances the field in 10m air weapon event—rifle and pistol—would see over 200 shooters participating in the trials. However, for January trials top 27 in the 10m air pistol are eligible, while top 31 ranked in 10m air rifle will be allowed to compete. The field is restricted to top 16 in men’s 25m rapid pistol event, while in 50m rifle three position top 20 ranked shooters can compete. In other rifle/pistol the upper limit is 30.