Is there a final twist to shooting selection? - Hindustan Times

Is there a final twist to shooting selection?

ByAvishek Roy, New Delhi
May 29, 2024 11:21 PM IST

The National Rifle Association of India NRAI has sought clarification from the world body on rules.

With the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) seeking clarification from the world body on rules regarding participation of mixed team events, there could be a late twist to India's selection for the Olympics.

NRAI has already conducted four sets of Olympic Selection Trials (OST) (Reuters)
NRAI has already conducted four sets of Olympic Selection Trials (OST) (Reuters)

NRAI has already conducted four sets of Olympic Selection Trials (OST) to pick the shooters but is yet to announce the team. The final call regarding the squad rests with the NRAI selection committee. The trials threw up some surprising results and perhaps the most shocking of those was 2022 World Champion Rudrankksh Patil, who won the 10m air rifle quota for the country, finishing in third position, behind topper and Army shooter Sandeep Singh and quota winner Arjun Babuta. As per NRAI's selection policy, the first two shooters in trials automatically select themselves for Paris Olympics.

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However, for mixed team events the ISSF rule for Paris Olympics says that "in case of number of mixed teams entered in air rifle and air pistol events exceed the available number of firing points for one qualification relay, the Qualification Ranking for Olympic Games (QROG) will be used to determine the final entry list.

"The combined number of points according to the QROG in the respective individual events of 10m AR or 10m AP produced on June 9 of both members of the mixed team will be taken in consideration," as per ISSF's Paris Olympics dossier.

If still a tie, the priority will be given to the mixed team with an athlete (male or female) who has the highest number of points according to QROG in the individual event of the respective mixed team event.

Rudrankksh currently sits at second position in QROG - the top Indian to feature in 10m air rifle. Arjun Babuta is 33rd while Sandeep in at 48th position. When rankings of individual shooters are taken into consideration for mixed team events, Rudrankksh (who hasn't qualified for the Olympics) will have a better chance of qualifying. It seems the rankings will come into play when a second team will be decided. At the Tokyo Olympics, India had two teams each in air rifle and air pistol events.

NRAI has sought clarification on the number of mixed teams that will be picked and the criteria that will be followed. NRAI issues fresh SOPs for personal coaches NRAI has issued a fresh undertaking and SOPs for personal coaches who wish to be with their wards during training in the build-up to Paris Olympics. Several shooters had earlier objected to the SOPs related to personal coaches who were now allowed to “directly instruct, communicate with shooters without the consent/permission of foreign coach or chief coach during the event/competition."

As per new SOPs personal coaches can instruct the shooters but keep national coaches in loop. They can accompany the shooter with permission from NRAI but not share accommodation or stay in the same hotel where the accommodation of the team is arranged.

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