Shooting coach Jaspal Rana, who was labelled as a ‘negative influence’ on the Indian team in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh, will be accompanying the junior national pistol team as the chief coach during the Junior World Championship later this month.
Headlined by Olympian Manu Bhaker, a team of 36 pistol shooters – 18 boys and 18 girls – will compete in eight events at the junior worlds that will be held in Lima, Peru, starting September 27. Raninder had also mentioned a rift between Bhaker and Rana, which he said could have impacted the teenage shooter’s performance in her maiden Olympics.
Ronak Pandit and Samresh Jung had travelled as pistol coaches to Tokyo after a string of events had increased the rancour and broken down communication between Bhaker and Rana. While announcing the team on August 27, the NRAI did not release the names of coaches who would travel with the team. On Monday, the NRAI told The Indian Express that Rana will continue in his role as the junior pistol team’s chief coach despite the allegations made against him until the review of the Tokyo Games performance is complete. The preparatory camp for the championship will begin in New Delhi on Wednesday.