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National camp for Olympic-bound shooters postponed indefinitely
New Delhi, Aug 4 - The national camp for Olympic-bound shooters, which was scheduled to be held here in the first week of August, has been postponed for an indefinite period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) said on Tuesday.
The shooting national federation held a meeting after which it announced its decision.
"The NRAI, in its meeting reviewed the decision taken during the emergent meeting of the governing body on July 14, of holding a national coaching camp for Olympic core group athletes at the Karni Singh Shooting Range (KSSR) in Delhi from the first week of August," the federation said in a statement.
"Under the prevailing conditions with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, the governing body decided to defer the camp, till the time conditions are safer all-around as well as suitable for outstation travel. Health and safety of shooters/coaches was paramount in the review of the decision. The NRAI will announce a new schedule at a later date."
The NRAI had originally scheduled the camp to start on August 1 at the Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi. It had also controversially made it compulsory for all 32 shooters who are in the mix for the Olympics to attend the camp.
The National Sports Federation was also yet to release a Standard Operating Procedure for a camp, which it had earlier said it will release a week before the camp is held.
Asked when the NRAI is planning to release the SOP, the federation's Secretary Rajiv Bhatia said that it will do so whenever the conditions start to improve.
"There are no competitions in the near future and the condition is worsening day by day. Travel is also not possible. So with all these things happening, we decided to postpone it. As soon as the conditions get better we will start working on it," Bhatia told IANS.
The camp had been postponed a day before its scheduled start when the Sports Authority of India (SAI) said that a coach posted at the range had tested positive for COVID-19.
"The result of the test was intimated to the authorities by the coach on July 30," said SAI.
"The coach had visited the centre's administrative department only on July 24, 2020. She did not visit the Field of Play or interacted with any athlete training at the centre. All actions as per protocol have been taken. The centre has been sanitized and training of shooters will not be affected." SAI had opened the range for Olympic-bound shooters on July 8.
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