Samaresh Jung, the Champion of Champions in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, appreciates the struggle endured by the cream of Indian shooting, but he is wary of the high scores.
“I don’t want them to be doing this great,” said the high performance pistol coach of the Indian team, as Samaresh looked at the intimidating scores of Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker in some of the matches during the recent selection trials.
Of course, the two top shooters also slipped in some matches, especially the finals, which would keep them focused on the work on hand till they reach Tokyo for the Olympics.
Equally, Samaresh was able to understand the struggle of the World No. 12 Anish Bhanwala to reach the finals of the rapid fire pistol event.
Shake up needed
Different shooters feel different pressure, but Samaresh was categorical that “this was required” to shake up the shooters from their slumber.
Asian Games gold medallist Rahi Sarnobat has been shooting very well in the finals, but the qualification has not been to her high standards in sports pistol.
“Rahi’s duelling is good, but she is working on her precision,” said Samaresh.
Yashaswini Deswal, Chinki Yadav and Abhishek Verma are the other pistol shooters who had won the Olympic quota and are slowly getting into their rhythm.
A week of training
Before the second set of trials, the Olympic core group will undergo another week long training.
“Actually we assemble on January 20 and after a week of quarantine the camp will start on January 27,” said Samaresh.
The two foreign coaches Pavel Smirnov and Oleg Mikhailov have joined the team and thus the Indian shooters would continue to get better with adequate guidance.
Samaresh felt that a bit of work on physical strength and conditioning could be an ideal blend to the technical tuning.
With Germany and England experiencing lockdown, Samaresh said that arrangements have already been made to acquire the right ammunition for the shooters.