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Rifle shooters face practice worry as Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Ranges close before Nationals

Indian shooter with silverware at Commonwealth Games Day 9 - (file photo)
Indian shooter with silverware at Commonwealth Games Day 9 - (file photo)
Navneet Singh
EXPERT

New Delhi's Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges, venue for the 64th National Shooting Championships in pistol events, has been shut down for practice. Training for air weapons could be done at makeshift ranges at home, but the main problem is small bore events.

Thursday will be training sessions for pistol shooters competing at the Nationals. The main competition starts Friday at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Ranges. India's leading shooters, including pistol shooter Manu Bhaker, will be seen in action during the national competition.

The 64th National Shooting Championships in rifle events will start on November 25 at Madhya Pradesh’s Shooting Ranges in Bhopal. Aspiring rifle shooters, particularly those from northern states including Haryana don’t have access to Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges for practice.

“There should have been some arrangement for practice for small bore events as the national competition in rifle events is still 10-day away in Bhopal,” an international rifle shooter from Haryana said.

Even Bhopal shooting ranges aren’t allowing rifle shooters from the North to practice.

“There is space to practice for the 10m air rifle event at Bhopal Shooting Ranges. But there is no chance to practice for 50-metre small bore event as ranges in Bhopal are busy,” said a rifle shooter from Delhi.

Bhopal and Delhi to host different shooting events for Nationals

Pandemic crises in New Delhi have subsided, but the impact of Covid-19 still being felt. To avoid overcrowding, the National Rifle Association (NRAI) divided rifle and pistol national competitions at two different venues.

The competition for pistol events will commence on Friday at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Ranges. The rifle competition will start at Bhopal’s Shooting Ranges from November 25.

Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges, in fact, were closed down from November 11, to prepare for the national pistol competition that got underway on Thursday.

Shooters under the National Center of Excellence (NCOE) scheme, a project of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), were allowed to practice though at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges. Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges are under the jurisdiction of SAI.

“With national competition around the corner, several shooters aren’t getting time to practice. Since Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges is the only facility in Northern India that has modern equipment, almost all shooters come for practice to polish their skills,” said a national rifle shooter from Delhi.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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