Delhi opens range for Olympic-bound shooters

Online booking of slots and social distancing norms will be followed at the Karni Singh range as part of the safety protocols for India’s top shooters

By Jay Lokegaonkar

India’s elite shooters will be able to start their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in Delhi from Wednesday. 

The Sports Authority of India (SAI), on Tuesday, announced that shooters who have already qualified or have a chance of qualifying for the Summer Olympics next year will get access to the range.

This will comprise the 32-member core group for Tokyo 2020 that was announced by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) last month.

Access to the range will be handed in phases.

“In the first phase, the facility would be opened only for athletes who have a probability of making it to the Olympics and form part of the core team of Indian shooting,” read a statement.

Safety measures in place

Strict guidelines that are in adherence to those laid by the government have been issued for the range, as the nation continues to remain in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Three out of the six shotgun ranges will be open to use for the athletes.

Shooters who are eligible and want to use the facilities will have to book slots online to avoid crowding at the shooting range. 

The 72-acre facility will have a single-point entry, where all athletes will have their temperatures checked through thermal screening before being allowed into the shooting range.

Furthermore, to ensure that athletes adhere to social distancing norms and maintain a six-feet (two metre) gap, only 25 out of 80 of the 10m and half of the 25m and 50m lanes for rifles and pistols at the range will be operational. 

Only three out of the six shotgun ranges will be open to use for the athletes. 

Shooters have also been instructed to refrain from sharing personal equipment including guns and ammunition among other things.