Junior shooters can’t be marginalised

first_imgIndian shooting had plenty of highs in 2018, with medals won at World Cups, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the World Championship.As the race begins for more quota places to be won for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, there will be more clamour to compete in events abroad. Going by email exchanges among people in the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), an impression has been created that juniors be treated as juniors and seniors get preferred for 2019.The NRAI has a fairly clear water-tight selection policy where a combination of best scores from trials to competitions is used to arrive at who makes the cut. This year has seen plenty of highs, which began at the CWG in Gold Coast and continued till the Asian Games.A few like Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala did find it difficult to cope with pressure in the Asian Games, but that does not mean they should be considered just as “juniors” in 2019. The argument advocated is the basis of picking shooters and identifying them as probables for the next year should be capability and scores and not their age.This year, in many events, be it pistol, rifle, or even shotgun, “juniors” gave seniors a run for their money. Who gets looked at in the new year may seem far but the way the NRAI functions, they keep working, looking at the future.After coaches flagged the issue on how juniors should not be bracketed just on age alone, NRAI president Raninder Singh has intervened. In his email, he has written to all concerned, “our policy is clear, there is no junior and senior, its best foot forward. The interest of the country and omnipotence of merit is our undoubted goal and we shall continue to ensure just that.”advertisementMeanwhile, NRAI’s plan to hold one more trial for pistol and rifle in October after a busy year is being seen as counter-productive. For those who missed the bus in 2018, it may be a chance but for those who have kept peaking, one more trial can be killing.last_img

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