Standoff ends,Jaspal draws his pistol on NRAI’s side

Critic to coach: In a ‘new beginning’,Rana to mentor junior shooters

Written by Vinayak Padmadeo | New Delhi | Published:October 17, 2012 2:01 am

After a many a public fall out with the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI),pistol ace Jaspal Rana has agreed to take up a coaching assignment with the same federation.

In the past Rana had often criticised the national body most frequently on the lack of training facilities for the shooters,and official apathy. But as he gears up for his next big assignment in the sport that is so dear to him,Rana said he didn’t have to think twice to accept the NRAI offer,despite their differences in the past.

“I will say this is a new beginning for me,” Rana,a triple gold medalist at the Doha Asian Games,told The Indian Express when asked whether this would mean the end of Jaspal as a shooter.

“My contract doesn’t say that I can’t compete. So I will continue shooting during competition.”

But,the NRAI has a different take on the issue. Federation chief Raninder Singh clarified that though Rana was free to shoot in the nationals,he can’t be part of the shooting core group for international tournaments as he is already been appointed as a coach.

Confusion notwithstanding,Rana is already bracing up for the challenges that lie ahead. “My shooters will be aged between 14-15 and I’ll have to get them to deliver results in 4-5 years which is not enough time — the new ISSF guidelines has reduced the age of junior competitors from 21 to 19. My duty will be to organise eveything for them and put them on right track,” Rana stressed.

Interestingly,the 36-year-old made it clear that despite this appointment he will not back down in his criticism. “I have always stood against any wrongdoing so me agreeing to coach will not mean I will shut up now. If I see something going wrong I will happily protest. But let me tell you this,things are a lot better now. It’s no more a one-man show and federation is supporting the shooters now,which is very good,” Rana added.

Rana confesses that he will have to juggle between his political life – he joined Congress recently — shooting and his coaching responsibilities.

“ I will have to prioritise as the federation has given me a big responsibility. But I know that I can manage the various roles,” said Rana,who will know the date and venue for his first day at the new job only after October 20,when the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will take a final call on organising camps.

Overhaul

While Rana was the big name that came out of the SAI meeting,there was a complete overhaul of the coaching structure of the shooting federation. Now apart from the foreign coach,there will be a couple of senior as well as junior coaches in each discipline to share the burden. NRAI chief Raninder clarified that the move was the need of the matter.

“The next two years is lean period for us. The new ISSF guidelines has left us with few youngsters in junior category so we had to segregate the coaching staff to help us build the future stock,” he said. Mohinder lal,who was the government nominee on NRAI selection panel has been made the senior coach after he resigned from his previous position. He will aided by Wajeed Ali.

Piddubyni’s contract ends

The NRAI is again on the lookout for a foreign coach in the pistol discipline. Anatoly Piddubyni,who was hired before the Olympics,has been let go after his contract was not renewed. “Piddubyni did well for us the short time he was here. We need a fresh approach so we let him go. Now were are on the look out for a full-time coach,” Raninder said. Also there is an effort to get a full time skeet coach. Currently the skeet shooters have been consulting their own personal coaches.

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