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Tokyo Olympics: Indian 10-meter air rifle teams receive just 20 minutes of training after ‘time slot problem’

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Elavenil Valarivan

Shortly two days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, shooters with a 10-meter air rifle in India had to deal with only 20 minutes of training at the Asaka shooting range due to a problem due to the distribution of time intervals.

While the other Indian shooters trained for more than two hours, the rifle teams, including Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan, whose competitions were scheduled for the first day of competition on July 24, saw that their training was reduced to less than half an hour.

“This is due to some time problem, as athletes from all competing countries train in the same place,” the National Shooting Association of India (NRAI) told PTI on Wednesday.

“Today’s training took place for about 2-2.5 hours in the morning session. The 10-meter air rifle teams received it in 20-30 minutes.”

While the women’s 10-meter air rifle will start shooting games on Saturday, the men’s 10-meter air rifle competition is scheduled for the next day.

India will be represented by Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar in the men’s 10m rifle competition.

It was also announced that eight Indian shooters, who will be seen in action during the first two racing days, will miss the opening ceremony of the games on Friday.

Like the 10-meter air pistol shooters, Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Apurvi and Elavenil have events on the first day of the race. Others such as Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal, Deepak and Divyansh will shoot on the second day.

“Although it was given that those operating on Saturday will miss, the other four have their tests before Saturday’s event, so it was prudent to miss the opening ceremony as far as they are concerned,” he said.

The Indian shooting contingent has 22 members, including 15 athletes. The Olympic Games are planned to be held from July 23 to August 8, and the shooting events will spread during the first 10 days of the extravaganza, which will be held without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indian shooters underwent their first training session in Tokyo on Monday. The Asaka Shooting Range also hosted the 1964 Olympic shooting competition.

The Indian shooting team arrived in the Japanese capital on Saturday after completing a long training tour in Croatia.

During their stay in Croatia, the Indian shooters took part in the European Championships in Osijek, from May 29th to June 6th. The Indian team has eight shooters with a rifle, five pistols and two skeletons, in addition to six coaches and a physiotherapist.

Before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Indian shooters consistently dominated the sport, finishing at the top of the table in four ISSF World Cups in 2019.

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