NRAI halts Olympics Mixed Team announcement, dilemma over selecting the candidates

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The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has delayed the announcement of the Indian shooting contingent for the Paris Olympics. This decision has been made as the NRAI seeks certain clarifications from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).

NRAI awaits clarification from ISSF

The NRAI, led by senior vice-president Kalikesh Singh Deo, had a meeting with all the national and foreign coaches to select the rifle and pistol team. However, the NRAI stopped short of announcing the team, realizing that selecting the team now may impact a spot in the mixed-team event.

According to the ISSF’s Qualification Ranking for the Olympic Games (QROG), the number of mixed teams will depend upon the number of firing points at the National Shooting Center in Chateauroux, France. If the teams exceed the firing points, the team that has the higher ranking points as per the QROG will be eligible to enter the mixed team competition.

The NRAI has sought a few clarifications from the ISSF regarding the mixed team qualifications. They do not want to be hasty in such decisions and avoid a situation where they lose a spot. The ISSF will announce the full list of entries in the mixed team competition by June 9. However, the NRAI is confident that it will hear from the international body in a day or two.

This development raises questions about Army shooter Sandeep Singh’s spot in the Paris-bound team. Sandeep, who outshot quota winner and 2022 world champion Rudrankksh Patil in the 10m air rifle competition, is low on ranking points. As per the QROG, Patil is ranked second in the world, whereas Sandeep is ranked 48th.

The NRAI official dismissed this notion, stating that the team is more or less decided. They are seeking a report because they are being cautious.

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