Indian shooters were left without sufficient food during their training camp in Baku, Azerbaijan last week, prompting the NRAI to take up the matter with the local organisers and sort out the issue. Gearing up for the rifle-pistol World Cup, to be held in Gabala, Azerbaijan from June 6, Indian shooters have been undergoing a two-week training camp to prepare for the event, which is a last chance for them to qualify for the World Cup Finals in New Delhi. The World Cup Finals will be held in the last week of October in the Indian capital.
But, as the shooters started training, complaints of lack of quantity and quality of food started pouring in. The National Rifle Association of India had to intervene to settle the issue quickly.
“There were a few problems last week but the federation promptly took up the matter with the local organisers and the team manager and it was sorted quickly,” NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia told PTI.
As a rule, athletes are not entitled to get food allowance from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) if the minimum three meals are included in the room tariff. In the event food is not included in room tariff, shooters would have got an extra USD 40, besides daily allowance.
The upcoming tournament assumes significance as it is the last qualifying event for the World Cup Finals where the top shooters in each event compete.
Ankur Mittal and Jitu Rai are the two Indian shooters to have qualified for the tournament, which will be held in front of their home crowd.
Having reached two World Cup finals, rifleman Ravi Kumar also has a good chance of qualifying for the World Cup finals. Top shooters such as Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu, Gurpreet Singh and Pooja Ghatkar will be part of the Indian shooting team in Gabala.