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Coronavirus | Visa, vaccination worries for shooters

Fingers crossed: Angad and Mairaj are hoping for a solution so that they can fly to Tokyo from Italy.  

Despite all the professional arrangements by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the two Tokyo-bound skeet shooters Mairaj Ahmad Khan and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa are facing uncertainty regarding their vaccination and visa extension in Italy.

While Angad had his first shot of Covishield on April 1, Olympian Mairaj is still waiting anxiously for the first jab.

Considering the short duration before the Games, Mairaj has requested the Indian Embassy in Rome for Pfizer vaccine, so that he can have the second dose in 21 days.

Quite peeved by the consistent tame communication from the Embassy about requesting the local health authorities for the vaccine, without any positive response, the Indian camp has shot off a strong communication to the Ambassador Dr. Nina Malhotra.

“We are mentally, emotionally and physically disturbed after almost a month chasing the Indian Embassy for our vaccination and extension of our visas,” wrote the Indian camp, seeking a quick resolution.

Mairaj could not be administered the vaccination earlier, as he was COVID-19 positive on April 27, and then tested negative on May 13, before flying to Europe.

With the visa ending on July 7, there is panic about extending it by a week so that the two can continue their training peacefully and fly to Tokyo from Italy.

There is an alternate arrangement of the two shotgun marksmen going to Zagreb, Croatia, to join the rifle and pistol shooters, but that would considerably upset their training.

In fact, on the advice of the coach Ennio Falco, both the skeet shooters had opted to skip the World Cup starting in Osijek, Croatia, from June 24, so as to concentrate on the best possible preparation for the Olympics.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 4:36:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/visa-vaccination-worries-for-shooters/article34834084.ece

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