The 11 Indian shooters preparing for the Olympic Games will be based abroad after the World Cup to be staged in London this month.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, the president of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), Raninder Singh, stated that the rifle and pistol shooters would be based in Germany after the London World Cup and proceed for the two other World Cups in Milan and Munich thereafter.
The three shotgun shooters would compete in the World Cups back to back in London and Lonato, and would also train overseas till the Olympics.
It was announced that pistol shooter Heena Sidhu and rifle marksman Joydeep Karmakar, who did not qualify for the Olympics, but were given entries based on the selection procedure, had also been sanctioned funds for their individual training by the government.
The NRAI president also took the opportunity to clarify matters with regard to accusations in a section of the press that suggested shady deals, and assured that all procurement was directly made from the international companies. He said that none of the officials of the NRAI had individual deals with any company.
He said that both NRAI and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) were merely customers of the companies and everything was done for the promotion of sport and not as a business.
He categorically stated that there was no shortage of ammunition and there was as much as 15,000 tins of air pellets in stock between NRAI and SAI. The NRAI president expressed complete faith in national coach Prof. Sunny Thomas, against whom a case dating back to 2001 had been raked up, and pleaded that focus should be on preparing the best for the Olympics. — Special Correspondent