Gill asks shooters to be patientJanuary 31st, 2010 - 8:11 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Sports Minister M.S.Gill Sunday was at pains to explain why no coach was appointed for the pistol shooters, with only eight months left for the Commonwealth Games, that forced them to hire a trainer and pay him from their own pocket.
Gill instead trained his gun at the shooters, saying they should have showed “patience and not rush” to appoint a coach for themselves.
The minister, who opened the Karni Singh Shooting Range Sunday and emphasised on his role in getting the venue ready on time, tersely told reporters that authorities are not to be blamed as they are trying to get the best foreign coaches.
“You cannot blame the authorities. We pay the foreign coaches well, $5,000 a month, but other countries entice them offering more. One of the shooting coaches went to Dubai as he was getting more.”
“They (shooters) should have shown patience and should not have rushed with the replacement. I am sure that we will have a new coach soon,” Gill said.
Gill refused to take any more questions from the probing media. He would not even explain how the pistol shooters are to be blamed when despite the government spending Rs.678 crore on training of athletes for the Commonwealth Games, they are still without a coach.
“It’s all that I can say for today. I do not want to comment anything more on the subject,” Gill said, walking off.
Pravir Krishna, joint secretary at the Sports Authority of India, said: “We cannot stop anyone from hiring their own coach. We have finalised the names of four shooting coaches, including one for pistol.”
Interestingly, shooting fetched India 16 of the 22 gold medals in the previous Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Samresh Jung, who accounted for five of those gold medals besides winning one silver and one bronze, is one of the six pistol shooters who decided to hire their own coach.
Jung, Ronak Pandit, Amanpreet Singh, Heena Sidhu, Ruchit Kapadia and Upasana Parasrampuria have all hired Anatoli Poddubni of Ukraine as coach.
“It has been 18 months since we are training without a coach. It is easy to say that we could have shown a bit more patience but for how long?” Jung replied when asked about Gill’s comments.
“We know that the federation is trying to have a coach, but we thought our performance would be affected if we don’t hire an expert now. There are so many upcoming international events including the Commonwealth Games which is not far away,” said Jung, who set three new Games records in 2006 Games.
National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) secretary general Baljit Singh Sethi said they have been trying their best to get a foreign coach.
Moscow Olympic gold medallist Aleksandr Melentiev is likely to be the new coach.
“The ministry is willing to provide only $5,000 for a foreign coach and they want the tenure to be till the Commonwealth Games. But it is difficult to get a top coach for that money and also most of them want a fixed tenure till the London Olympics,” Sethi told IANS.
“Even the foreign coach for rifle shooters is taking $6,000 monthy. The federation is paying the extra money and we assured them from our behalf that he will stay till the Olympics,” he said.
“We know it is very difficult for the pistol shooters to train without a coach. We have proposed a name to the ministry and we are hopeful that it will be cleared soon.”
Asked whether the six pistol shooters will be allowed to train under their own coach, Sethi said: “The shooters can’t bring their own coaches at national camps. And our national coach (Sunny Thomas) has spoken to the shooters before we suggested the foreign coach’s name to the ministry. So it should not be a problem.”
Well-known trap shooter Mansher Singh said the NRAI and then ministry need to get their act together.
“They have done some great things for shooting. But there could be better synergy between them. You cannot blame the shooters. India’s standard in shooting has gone up and there are only few top coaches available who can help us improve. So if you don’t get these coaches at the right time, other countries will hire them and our shooters will suffer.”
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- Selectors didn't have faith in Rathore: NRAI president - Mar 13, 2012
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Tags: commonwealth games, crore, eight months, emphasised, gold medals, government spending, heena, kapadia, karni, krishna, New Delhi, pandit, parasrampuria, pistol shooters, ronak, samresh jung, shooting range, sidhu, sports authority, upasana