Coaches, shooters under scanner after flop show at Rio qualifier

There could be changes in the coaching staff once the dust settles on the Asia Olympic qualifying championships. India had a relatively quiet outing with only three shooters getting quota places for the Rio Olympic Games.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will review the performance or rather lack of it once the trials for the Olympic team get over and the team is announced in March.

The results have been below expectations with shooters like Anisa Sayyed, Annuraj Singh and Rahi Sarnobat, who have been part of the national squad for years, failing to make the finals even when the scores weren’t high.

Others, including Omkar Singh, logged below-par scores and flopped in the final of the men’s air pistol and 50-metre pistol events.

“We will look at the qualification rounds as a benchmark for the performance of our coaches. We will also look at our athletes. We will look at their performance in term of success and failure in the finals and the way they fought in the finals. We will see what steps are to be taken shortly,” NRAI president Raninder Singh told HT on Monday.

“They will be held accountable,” he added.

Raninder was particularly disappointed with the double trap team which failed to win a Rio berth despite being ranked one and two going into the semifinal.

The NRAI chief promised that all aspects of the athletes’ training would be put under the scanner. “We need to understand why our athletes in some cases fought very poorly. We need to understand if it is an individual athlete’s failure, a flaw in our training programme or something else… some unforeseen situation. Are we weak in terms of mental training? We have to plug the holes for the squad that goes to Rio,” he said.