NEW DELHI: Impressed with the performance of the Indian shooting contingent in Gold Coast, ace marksmen Jitu Rai is worried about the adverse effect that non-inclusion of the sport in the 2022 Birmingham Games will have on young talents.
“We win lot of medals in shooting (at the CWGs). Look at the kids who are doing so well and they will only do better as they go along. So it saddens me that shooting won’t be a part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It will affect young medal prospects of our country,” Jitu told PTI during an interaction organised by the Indian Army.
“But it is not in our hands. We can only shoot and that is what we are doing. Whether to include the sport or not, is in the hands of government (organisers). But I am still hopeful that it would be included,” he said.
The Indian Army on Wednesday accorded a warm welcome to their sportspersons, who returned with medals for the 21st Commonwealth Games.
Asked if he agrees with his parent body NRAI, who asked India to boycott the 2022 Games if shooting is not included as a discipline, Rai gave a defensive answer.
“If NRAI has said, then it is right. I agree with them. If they are removing one sport, then boycott the Games completely because we are doing so well in this sport. We were winning so many medals in shooting. I support the NRAI and government.”
The gold medal in the men’s 10m air pistol with record score of 235.1 may have brought smiles back but it is hardly a balm that will be able erase the sadness of a disappointing show at the Rio Olympics.