By Debayan Mukherjee
Kolkata, July 2 (IANS) The Online Shooting League starting from Saturday will have Indian participation in the form of paralympic shooters who will form a three-member team called the ‘Indian Tigers’ with the approval of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).
Shimon Sharif, the organiser of the league, had initially wanted participation from elite Indian shooters but National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) refused to allow any of them to take part in it. Former India shooter Sharif then thought of fielding a team comprising former Indian shooters but eventually found a backer in PCI with President and Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik extending full support.
“This is a great opportunity for our shooters at a time when there is no competition happening in the world. I am sure our team will fight like the tigers and make us all very proud,” Deepa said.
“I am happy to have a team from India. This will generate an interest among the Indian sport fans. The “Indian Tigers” are no less than any of the other teams. The only aim of the Online Shooting League is to promote shooting in the world. We need the support of all shooting federations and are thankful to PCI for their participation,” Sharif told IANS.
Krishan Kumar, winner of silver medal in men’s 10m Air Rifle at 2019 national shooting championship, Jyoti Sannakki, winner of silver medal in Air Rifle (Women) at 2019 national championships and national shooter from Haryana Ishank Ahuja comprise the Indian team.
International medallist Sriharsha V. Devareddi who competed in the Word Championship & multiple World Cups, will be in the reserve. The team will be coached by former shooter J.P. Nautiyal who is also the chairperson sports technical committee (STC) of PCI.
“At a difficult time of COVID-19, when uncertainty is looming on conducting national and international competitions. We at STC Shooting, PCI are so thankful to Shimon Sharif for giving us an opportunity to participate in the Online Shooting League,” Nautiyal said.
Among 18 top shooters from six countries including three Olympic quota winners Martin Strempfl (AUT) Marco Suppini and Lorenzo Bacci both from Italy will be seen in action over a month at the first-of-a-kind online shooting league.
The inaugural edition will see only rifle shooters taking part in the event from July 4-26 where shooters will shoot on electronic targets from their homes.
Every team will consist of 3 rifle shooters. The format used will be “Race to 10” in which the shooters of the two teams will take a shot each.
The team with the higher total of 3 shots takes the point and whichever team reaches 10 points first wins that match. There will only be one match between two teams in a day.