The Indian team on Monday had their first training session at the Asaka Shooting Range, the venue of the shooting competition at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. All the shooters went through a four-hour training routine. They arrived in the Japanese capital on July 17, after a more than two-month-long camp in Croatia.
Speaking to Sportskeeda at the shooting range, Samaresh Jung, one of the coaches accompanying the Indian squad, said:
"Accommodation, food and all COVID protocols are well managed. The venue is a bit far from Olympic village. It took almost an hour to reach here. But as per the information, during the competition days, lanes will be reserved for athletes and should take about 30 minutes."
The shooting range, at the Camp Asaka base of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, is about 32 km from the Olympic village. The venue was constructed for the 1964 Summer Olympics.
The 15-strong contingent is India's largest ever at the Games in shooting. On the medal expectations from the team, Jung said:
"Our focus right now is only on performance. Winning a medal is not in our hands"
Indian shooting team sweats it out
The air conditioning in the main hall was poor. It is extremely hot in Tokyo and the shooters were feeling the heat even inside the arena.
Indian coach Ronak Pandit was spotted applying chilled water bottles to keep himself cool. Speaking to Sportskeeda, the Asian and Commonwealth Games medalist said:
"If you look at the performance of the last couple of years, the average score has gone significantly up. This is by far the strongest shooting contingent ever. Let's hope everyone brings out the best on D-day."
With COVID-19 cases confirmed in the Olympic Village, team members are on their toes.
According to high-performance coach Deepali Deshpande:
"We are following all the SOPs for COVID strictly and no one is interacting without masks. We had more liberty in the Croatia camp but still we had masks everywhere. Our focus hasn't changed and everyone is adhering to all safety measures."
Indian shooters will be in action from July 24. The 15-member team comprises Deepak Kumar, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Sanjeev Rajput, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Angad Vir Singh Bajwa, Mairaj Ahmad Khan, Apurvi Chandela, Elavenil Valarivan, Anjum Moudgil, Tejaswini Sawant, Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal, and Rahi Sarnobat.