By Navneet Singh
New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) Croatian Peter Gorsa, world No.1 in men’s 50 metres rifle three-position who is here to compete at the World Cup, is having a forgetful time. And, to add to his woes, he can’t compete in the World Cup as he has been sent into quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19.
Gorsa’s troubles started right from the time he landed at the Delhi international airport last week. He was stuck there as the customs clearance of his equipment, including weapons, took more than six hours.
“We arrived at midnight on March 15 and reached the official team hotel near the venue — Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges — at 9.30 am. There should have been special arrangement for shooters. The custom clearance was lengthy. We couldn’t sleep,” Gorsa told IANS of his sufferings.
The 33-year-old European shooter says there should have been someone from the organising committee — the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) – at the airport to help expedite the process at the customs.
And when Gorsa reached the official team hotel, he saw some more shocking scenes.
“There was no bio-bubble as private weddings and other functions were being organised at the team hotel. I believe the organisers should have made separate arrangements for the shooters,” he said.
NRAI secretary general DVS Rao, however, said that the organising committee is taking care of all the competitors. “Do not believe what the Croatian shooter is saying. All necessary arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the World Cup,” Rao told IANS.
Incidentally, Gorsa was one of the two European who tested positive for Covid-19 on March 17. He is serving 14-day quarantine at Faridabad’s Sarvodaya Hospital and Research Centre since March 18.
Two Indian shooters have also tested positive for virus and are out of the World Cup.
“The organising committee is following all protocol regarding Covid-19. We are strictly following all the rules. Otherwise, there would have been a large number of Covid-19 cases during the World Cup,” said Rao.
Even on reaching the private hospital, Gorsa’s woes didn’t end. When he was admitted there, Gorsa said he was charged $400 (Rs 29,000 approximately) for the insurance.
The NRAI secretary general, however, claimed he didn’t have the details. “We are taking care of all the things,” was Rao’s response.
Due to Covid-19 positive, Gorsa can’t compete in the World Cup. The preliminary round of men’s 50 metres 3-position took place on Tuesday.
“The New Delhi World Cup was important for me as I have to stay in the top six ranking to get financial assistance from the Croatian government. As per my contract with the government it is important to stay within top six in world rankings to get funds for the next season,” he said.
All the top shooters in Croatia, said Gorsa, have to annually perform exceptionally well in two international events to avail financial assistance from the government.
“Since I’m not competing in India my ranking will slip. As a result, my chances of getting funds for 2022 won’t be good now,” he rued.
According to Gorsa, due to the surge in virus cases, the next month’s World Cup in Korea looks doubtful. Even European Shooting Championship in May could be cancelled.
“The only chance I’ve at hand is to go all out during the Tokyo Olympic Games starting July 23,” said the Olympian. “I just hope all goes well in Tokyo.”
The 2021 Olympic Games will be Gorsa’s fourth. He made his debut at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Croatian had earned the Tokyo Olympic quota at 2018 Changwon World Championships in Korea.