Controversy surrounding the entry of a Shotgun Shooter at NRAI’s National Trials

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Indian trap shooter Karan was allowed to compete in shotgun trials held in New Delhi and Bhopal in February-March despite failing the National Rifles Association of India’s (NRAI) criteria. Karan was recommended by the Army and was allowed to compete in shotgun trials held in New Delhi and Bhopal.

NRAI’s criteria for selection

The NRAI’s criteria stipulated that shooters needed a score of 110 in senior men’s trap during the National Championship to be eligible for the trials. Karan, an army marksman, fell short of this benchmark by two points, scoring 108. Despite this, he was the only shooter recommended by the Army and accepted by the NRAI.

This decision has raised eyebrows, especially since other shooters with identical scores were not given the same consideration. The NRAI’s decision to make an exception for Karan has been justified on the grounds of his potential as a “budding” shooter. NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia stated that Karan had been shooting good scores and that the difference was just two points.

“We did give an exception as he is a budding, good shooter. There was a difference of just two points and he has been shooting good scores. That’s why we introduced him in the trials for selecting the teams for World Cups, World Championships, everything (including Olympics),” said Bhatia to PTI.

However, the decision has not been without criticism. The NRAI is currently embroiled in a legal battle over its selection criteria for the ongoing trials for the Paris Olympics. The federation’s decision to bend the rules for one shooter while insisting on strict adherence to the criteria for others has been questioned.

Despite being allowed to compete in the trials, Karan did not make it to the national squad. He competed in a series of four selection trials and is currently ranked 15th. Bhatia clarified that allowing Karan to participate in the trials did not guarantee his selection for international competitions like the World Cups and World Championships.

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