Maha Govt boost for Olympic shooting preparations

Pune: The Maharashtra Government has promised all help needed to put the London Olympics-bound Indian shooters go through their paces in the camp that is being conducted at the Balewadi shooting range near here.

The assurance to provide fillip to the shooters and the coaching staff and help them put their best foot forward in the London Games in July-August during the camp, that commenced on February 24 and concludes on March 12, was given by State Sports Minister Padmakar Valvi here.

He praised the "Gun for Glory" shooting academy set up by ace marksman Gagan Narang at a function here yesterday in the presence of the shooting support staff.

"It is a matter of great pride for the city of Pune that an athlete of the stature of Narang has set up his academy here. I was impressed by the efforts and success that Gun For Glory has already achieved. The facilities here are worthy for preparations for the Olympics," he said.

The Minister expressed pride that Pune is playing host to the Olympics shooting team from February 24 to March 12.

He promised to lend a helpful hand by providing required facilities for the coaching camp in the presence of Narang (10m air rifle, 50m prone and 3p), Annuraj Singh (10m air pistol), Heena Sidhu (10m air pistol, 25m sports pistol), Rahi Sarnobat (25m sports pistol), Sanjeev Rajput( 50m 3p men) and Vijay Kumar (25m rapid fire pistol, 10m air pistol).

National coach Sunny Thomas was elated by the facility standards maintained by the state government.

"Pune has all the world-class facilities needed and is the best in India. Hence, we have decided to have the coaching camp in Pune," he said in presence of the rest of the coaching staff, comprising Stanislav Lapidus, Anatoly Piddubngi, Smirnov Pavel and Pawan Singh.