Tokyo Olympics-bound shooters will be administered Covid-19 vaccinations ahead of their departure to Croatia on May 11, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) said on Monday.
The 15-member squad will fly on a chartered flight to participate in the European Championships, slated to be held from May 20 to June 6. The shooters will stay back in Croatia for training before leaving for Tokyo to compete at the Olympics in July.
"All the arrangements have been made in association with the Croatian Shooting Federation. We have also made arrangements for a chartered flight for the entire squad to fly to Zagreb, in order to nullify the threat of contracting infection to the maximum.
"It was also announced that all members of the squad including coaches and officials, would be vaccinated by May 6, 2021, before their departure. We have also accommodated the private coaches and support staff of the Shooters in the arrangement," the NRAI said in a statement.
The Europe training stint will hold the shooters in good stead ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. With training facilities restricted in India amid a recent spike in COVID-19 infections, the shooters have only been training at home without any supervision or equipment.
Shooting believed to be India's best bet for gold at the Tokyo Olympics
The country's shooters have set a benchmark on the global stage with their consistent performances over the last few years. This was evident in the manner the team won 30 of the 82 medals on offer at the ISSF World Cup in March.
Topping medal tallies at Shooting World Cups since 2019, Indian shooting has consistently been lifted to lofty standards on the international stage. The likes of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary are raising hopes for a podium finish at the Tokyo Olympics.