Sports Ministry sanctions Rs 13 crore for Oly-bound shooters

New Delhi: Mindful of the Indian shooters` prospects of winning medals at the upcoming London Olympics, the Sports Ministry has already sanctioned close to Rs 13 crore for their preparations for the quadrennial extravaganza.

"A total of close to Rs 12.5 to 13 crore has been sanctioned by the ministry over a period of time," said Raninder Singh, President of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI).

Abhinav Bindra, Ronjan Sodhi, Manavjit Singh and Shagun Chowdhary have been sanctioned funds individually for their training under the National Sports Development Funds (NSDF).

"Shagun has asked for Rs 50 lakh for her individual training and that has been approved by the ministry," said Raninder.

A group of five shooters -- Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput, Rahi Sarnobat, Annuraj Singh and Vijay Kumar -- have asked the NRAI to train together and their funds have also been approved under NSDF after they submitted their plans.

"We are awaiting final sanctioning of Rs 5.2 crore from the ministry, it is expected to be approved by end of this week," Raninder said.

Under the direct NSDF funding, four shooters have been receiving funds since 2009. "Heena Sidhu and Jaydeep Karmakar are the two new entrants," he said.

Funds for support staff of the five shooters who are training in a group, have been sanctioned, the individuals are taking care of their own support staff as per their needs.

The NRAI said that everything, right from trials to selection, have been done in a "timely" and "pro-active" manner.

"The federation is continuing with all efforts to ensure maximum returns in London," said Raninder.

Coaches accompanying the contingent are Stanislav Lapidus (Rifle), Anatoly Piddubnyl and Smirnov Pavel (Pistol), Marcello Dradi (Shotgun), Heniz Reinkemier (Rifle), Prof Sunny Thomas (National Coach), Amarjang Singh (Shotgun) and Moraad Ali Khan (Shotgun).

"Besides we do allow them (shooters) the liberty if they want to hone their skills individually...we permit them," Raninder said.

Eight officials per discipline are allowed to accompany the team as per rules.

"Normally it varies from 6-8 but it may be increased to 11. We have given 11 names to the IOA (Indian Olympic Association). All 11 are, however, not NRAI officials," Raninder said.

As regards the shooters` personal support staff, Raninder said, "Abhinav has asked for two coaches and a mental trainer. Vijay, Ronjan and Shagun have asked for one coach...they sought their own personal staff. We have asked the IOA to provide us with 11 accreditations."

Raninder also said that only coaches or officials cleared through IOA will be able to stay at the Games Village, and those only accredited would make their own arrangements.