Tokyo Olympics -Jaspal Rana vs NRAI vs Manu Bhaker: Indian shooting could soon reach a point of no return if there is no fairness in selection of coaches and athletes, no fixing of accountability and no discipline, reckons Jaspal Rana. According to Rana, NRAI should soon take the decision on the non-performing coaches, shooters at the Tokyo Olympics.
“We need absolute fairness in selection of both coaches and shooters, fixing of accountability and there cannot be a place for non-performers in the team,” Rana told PTI during a chat.
Tokyo Olympics: Pistol Coach Jaspal Rana says, NRAI should throw out the non-performers of Olympics
Tokyo Olympics -Jaspal Rana vs NRAI vs Manu Bhaker: Dronacharya awardee coach Rana has also revealed that “nobody” wanted him to be a part of the Indian shooting coaching setup except the national federation (NRAI) president Raninder Singh.
Amid the bitter mudslinging in the wake of the Indian shooters’ disastrous outing at the Tokyo Olympics, the 1994 Asian Games gold medallist said it’s high time the problems facing the sport in the country are fixed.
Indian shooters failed to fire at the Olympics for the second straight time and Rana said it is not fair on the part of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Singh to blame him for the debacle.
“They need to find a scapegoat after what happened in Tokyo. But I am not someone who will take this lying down. They are passing the buck to me for Manu Bhaker’s failure. I want to know what were the coaches doing in Tokyo? I was not there,” declared Jaspal Rana in an recent interview to The Telegraph
What NRAI President had said about Jaspal Rana? Reacting to the failures of top medal prospects such as Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary at the Olympics, Raninder had said there was “just one negative factor in the whole thing (wrangling within the team).”
“I am referring to Jaspal Rana,” the NRAI chief had said referring to the internal dispute among coaches in the pistol squad prior to leaving for the long training-cum-competition tour of Croatia.
Rana in his defense said: “What happened in Zagreb (Croatia) from May onwards where the shooters had a camp? Nobody is asking that. I was in Zagreb for a month. I had told the association to have a camp at a place where the weather would be similar to Tokyo in July-August. The weather in Zagreb was pleasant. Nobody bothered to listen to me.
Tokyo Olympics -Jaspal Rana vs NRAI vs Manu Bhaker: Rana says young shooters misguided and need to protect them
The 45-year-old former shooter was quick to add that the bunch that failed to deliver in Tokyo comprised mostly youngsters, who will gain in experience and mature by the time the next Olympics come calling.
The young shooters should be backed, he said, as there is no dearth of talent among them and need to be proteced as they are misguided by many.
“We don’t need to train them, they already know there game, we need to protect them, which was not there. That’s what I think, but then, nobody wanted me in the federation except the president,” Rana added.
What was the problem between Rana & Manu Bhaker? Rana said the problem started after pistol shooter Chinki Yadav secured India a quota place during the Asian Championship in Doha in 2019.
While Rana was vocal about not being in favour of Manu competing in three events at the Olympics — 10 metre air pistol, mixed team event and 25 metre pistol — as he felt it was “too much for a young athlete to handle”, Manu felt otherwise.
“They are just making me the scapegoat after what happened in Tokyo. They can’t just pass the buck to me for Manu Bhaker’s failure. What were the coaches doing in Tokyo? I was not there with them at the Olympics,” Rana said.
“There was no accountability, so many coaches were there.. you just need one head chef. I don’t do personal coaching, Raninder knows everything, people took advantage of the situation”.
Regarding Manu’s failure at the Games, he said, “I am not blaming that child, she is a kid.”
The final breaking point between the two came during the New Delhi World Cup in March when the shooter felt “ignored” by Rana and requested the NRAI to change her coach.
On his part, Rana said he was always ready to coach her or any other shooter, provided they listened to his advice.