By Navneet Singh
New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) The Delhi State Shooting Championships, starting this week, will not be held in Delhi; instead, it will be split and held in three states — Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana. Reason: non-availability of overburdened Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges in Delhi.
A Delhi State Rifle Association (DSRA) application for organising the competition, starting on Friday, has been lying with the Sports Authority of India (SAI), which owns Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges, for two months. But the SAI has not replied so far.
“Our request for approval has been pending for the past two months. As a result, the competition will be held in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttarakhand because Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges aren’t available for state competitions this time,” said DSRA secretary Rajiv Sharma.
“This is for the first time the Delhi state competition has been shifted to other states as last year’s domestic calendar was disrupted due to the deadly virus. Without state competitions, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) can’t conduct zonal or pre-nationals for shooters to achieve minimum scores to become eligible to compete in the nationals,” emphasised Sharma.
Jaspal Rana, former Asian Games multiple gold medallist in pistol events, is president of DSRA.
Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges are overused, as it also caters to competitions of other states, besides Delhi’s and national-level camps and competitions, due to lack of good facilities in the region.
The ranges, however, are open to Olympic hopefuls and the shooters who are in the national camps are currently training there. The NRAI organised the first round of national selections trials for the upcoming World Cup while the second round will commence on February 8.
The ISSF World Cup will be held from March 18-29 at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges.
So, these could be the possible reasons for the SAI to have not replied to DSRA’s application to host the competition at these ranges. Also, the SAI might be avoiding crowds gathering at the ranges considering the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s Standard Operating Procedure for sports competitions.
Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges have modern facilities, but it isn’t available for the Delhi competition due to pandemic, rued Sharma. He pointed out that, generally, 800 to 1,000 shooters compete in a Delhi state competition.
“Since competition is being organised in one category — National Rules — the number of participants would half the usual number this time,” he said, referring to the upcoming Delhi State Shooting Championships that will be held in three states outside Delhi.
The air weapon events — 10m air pistol and rifle — will be conducted at Deep School in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh from February 5-12 while shotgun competition will be conducted at Faridabad’s Manav Rachna Education Institute in Haryana from February 5-9. The small bore events, including 25m rapid pistol, will be organised in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, from February 14-19.
Beginners and aspiring shooters keen to play at the national level have to compete in the National Rules category, in which a match comprises 40 shots, to achieve minimum scores and become eligible to compete in the International Shooting Sport Federation events, in which a match comprises 60 shots.