NRAI keep faith in Heena,all over for Rathore

Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s hopes of representing India at the 2012 London Olympics are finally over

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 13, 2012 12:59:58 am

Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s hopes of representing India at the 2012 London Olympics are finally over. On Monday,the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) reiterated their faith in Heena Sidhu over the Athens silver medallist,insisting that they have already forwarded her name to the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) for the Games.

Claiming wrongdoings in the selection parameters,the Indian Army — Rathore’s employers — had written a letter to the Sports Ministry,claiming that on form,the extra 3-P berth that India had earned should have been awarded to Rathore after he broke the world record score of 148 at the Asian Shotgun Shooting Championships in Kuala Lumpur. But after Monday’s meeting convened by Sports Minister Ajay Maken and the NRAI officials — president Raninder Singh and advisor Baljeet Singh Sethi — the federation announced there was no need to make any changes. Sidhu’s consistency in making the final rounds of events convinced the minister.

Interestingly,the NRAI had asked Sidhu to participate at the national trials — held on Sunday in Pune — at the very last moment,even though she was earlier exempted from the trials after being named in the squad. The Patiala shooter shot a total of 385 to top the ranks and calm frayed nerves in the federation. “It’s a normal procedure as representation was made to the minister’s office. We went there with all the comparative scores and it didn’t take them long to agree with the selection,” said a NRAI official.

The NRAI had written to the ISSF,requesting to swap the 50m 3-P berth won by Imran Hasan Khan for Heena’s 10m air pistol category.

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