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Shooting gets popular, infrastructure a hurdle in Himachal

Shimla, May 17

Shooting is growing as a sport but lack of infrastructure is hampering its progress. In the state championship held in Shimla and Cheog, a small village about 30 km from the city, 700 shooters participated in the event. “This is the highest number of participants we have ever had at the state meet. The participation was much less a few years back, but it’s increasing with every event now,” said Ishwar Rohal, secretary of the HP State Rifle Association.

Govt needs to step in

The government needs to step in and provide infrastructure to give these shooters a chance to bring laurels to the state and the country. Vijay Kumar, Olympic medallist

Vijay Kumar, 2012 Olympic silver medallist, said, “It is a pleasant surprise to see so many shooters turning up for the championship. Clearly, shooting is on an upward trajectory in the state,” said Vijay Kumar, the poster boy of shooting in the state. “Now, the government needs to step in and provide infrastructure to give these shooters a chance to win laurels to the state and the country,” said Kumar.

Even as the number of youngsters taking up shooting as a sport is rising, the infrastructure has failed to keep up the pace. There is just one government-run 10m shooting range at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in Shimla.

“There’s not much cost involved in building 10m shooting range, yet there has been no efforts in this direction. Much of the credit for popularising shooting goes to a few private schools and academies which have opened shooting ranges,” said Varinder Banshtu, a shooting coach from Rohru.

Kuldeep Verma, a national-level shooter, says that it is surprising that there is no shooting range even in Hamirpur, where the state’s best shooting star hails from.

Gold medal winners

Arjun Sharma (10 m air rifle Men, Junior Men, Youth Men and Sub Youth Men).
Samya Singh Chauhan (10 m air rifle Junior Women, Sub Youth Women)
Shivangi Dogra (10 m air rifle Women)
Vani Mohindru (10 m air rifle Youth Women)
Pratham Rajput (10 m air pistol Men)
Apoorva Nag (10 m air pistol Junior Men and Youth Men)
Tejas Nanda (10 m air pistol Sub Young Men)
Pooja Verma (1 0m air pistol Women)
Divansh Chauhan (25m centre fire pistol singles men’s)
Raghuveer Singh Dhakwala (25 m centre fire pistol senior master men’s singles)
Aanchal Rana (25 m pistol junior women’s singles and 25 m pistol women’s singles)

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