Camp for Tokyo hopeful shooters start on October 15 in a bio bubble

India’s shooting national camp has already been postponed twice due to COVID concerns.

By Utathya Nag

Deferred twice due to COVID-19 concerns, the national camp for the core group of Tokyo Olympics hopeful Indian shooters will finally get underway on October 15 in a bio bubble at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range in Delhi.

To ensure the safety of the shooters, coaches and support staff involved, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will work together to enforce the Safety Operating Procedure (SOP) to maintain the bio bubble.

The two-month-long camp planned to be held from October 15 to December 17 will be attended by 32 Indian shooters (18 men and 14 women), including 15 Tokyo Olympics quota holders. Eight coaches, three foreign coaches and two support staff will also be involved.

As per the guidelines, the NRAI will provision for lodging the shooters and personnel at a nearby hotel, with SAI providing support as per norms.

According to the safety measures formulated by NRAI, outstation shooters and coaches will need to quarantine themselves inside the hotel for seven days before joining the camp.

Attendees from Delhi and nearby regions, meanwhile, have been instructed to self-isolate for seven days at their respective places of residence before shifting to the hotel for the camp.

From the hotel to the entry of the shooting range, the responsibility falls with NRAI to maintain the SOP and keep the bio bubble secure.

The shooting camp at the Dr Karni Singh Range in Delhi will be wrapped under a strict bio bubble to ensure the safety of the shooters.

Maintenance of the range falls under the purview of the Dr Karni Singh Range administrators. However, the premises will be divided into Green, Orange, Yellow and Red risk category zones to minimize contact between the campers and range personnel to mitigate the risks.

“This will be the first national camp that will be held since the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March and all steps are in place for the shooters to perform in a safe and comfortable environment,” said NRAI secretary Rajiv Bhatia.

All campers will need to undergo COVID tests, which will be arranged by the NRAI at the hotel.

The shooting camp was first planned to be held on August 1 but was shifted to October 1 due to the pandemic situation in India. The latter plan also had to be scrapped for the same reasons.

India has already secured 15 quota places in shooting for the Tokyo Olympics next year and has the chance to increase these numbers based on rankings in the coming months leading up to the main event in Tokyo.