Covid-care: 2 Oly reserves, bio-bubble

Vinayak Padmadeo

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, March 28

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has decided to name two reserves in each discipline when they meet to select the team for the Tokyo Olympics. NRAI president Raninder Singh disclosed this today, the last day of the ISSF World Cup.

He also informed that the selection meeting would be held on April 3 or 4, depending upon the availability of the selection committee.

“We will have the meeting either on April 3 or 4, subject to the availability of people. I prefer a personal interaction but if we have to do it over Zoom then we will do it,” Singh said. “We will also be announcing two reserves per event. If the selected shooter is infected then the one named as Reserve 1 will be sent. If both get infected then we will send Reserve 2,” he added.

The men’s trap team of Kynan Chenai, Prithviraj Tondaiman and Lakshay Sheoran won the final gold.

Singh, who is also a vice-president of ISSF, the sport’s governing body, added that there are plans to put the Olympics-bound team in a secure bio-bubble before the Olympics.

“We are looking for an advisory from the Health Ministry regarding when the peak of this Covid-19 is expected. My first priority now is to think about their exposure or competitions. We have experienced and highly exposed athletes, but you can be anyone, the best in the world, you will be rusty if you do not have international exposure. We are ready, we need to get the rustiness out,” Singh said, explaining the plans leading up to the Tokyo Games.

“But at the same time it is equally important to make sure that our athletes are protected from Covid-19. It is a difficult thing to keep people away from the families and it can be counter-productive. We are looking at the peak period and we are planning to keep them in the bio-bubble till the Olympics with only one intention — to minimise the possibility of them getting ill,” he added.

Two gold on final day

Meanwhile, India won two gold medals on the final day of the World Cup, to take the overall tally to 30 medals, including 15 gold, 9 silver and 7 bronze medals.

The day’s first gold medal was won on the trap ranges, where the Indian team of Shreyasi Singh, Manisha Keer and Rajeshwari Kumari beat the team from Kazakhstan 6-0 in the final of the women’s trap team final.

After this, the men’s trap team of Kynan Chenai, Prithviraj Tondaiman and Lakshay Sheoran won gold by beating Slovakia 6-4 in a closely-contested final.

However, there was disappointment in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol team competition, in which the Indian trio of Gurpreet Singh, Vijayveer Sidhu and Adarsh Singh went down 2-10 to the US in the final.

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