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New Delhi, Jul 13 (PTI) Ronak Pandit, who has been training medal prospect Manu Bhaker for past six months, Oleg Mikhailov and Samaresh Jung are among the seven coaches travelling with the Indian shooting squad to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
'Logistical hurdles' arising out of the coronavirus situation came in the way of the National Rifle Association of India's (NRAI) plans to rotate all its coaches during the Games.
Mikhailov, appointed in 2017, will be in charge of the rifle team along with Deepali Deshpande and Suma Shirur.
While Samaresh Jung and Ronak Pandit will be training the pistol contingent comprising Saurabh Chadhary, Manu Bhaker, Abhishek Verma, Yashaswini Singh Deswal and Rahi Sarnobat.
Former India shooter Mansher Singh, chief coach of the Indian shotgun team, will be helping out skeet shooters -- Angad Vir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan -- Tokyo.
Apart from the coaches, also accompanying the team will be physiotherapist Zeinia Samar.
Members of the rifle and pistol team and their coaches, who are currently training in Zagreb, Croatia, will join the Italy-based skeet shooters in Amsterdam before leaving for Tokyo on July 16.
Jaspal Rana, a pistol ace of his time and one who has played an influential role in the emergence of talented young shooters in recent years, is not part of the travelling contingent and so is foreign pistol coach Pavel Smirnov.
Rana has been, of late, not training any Olympic-bound shooters and it was also felt that the team could do without the services of long-standing foreign coach, Smirnov, in Tokyo.
'Ronak has been training Manu for the past six months, before the New Delhi World Cup, so he is there,' a source in the NRAI said.
The Olympics are scheduled to be held in the Japanese capital from July 23 to August 8, with the shooting events starting a day after the opening ceremony and covering the first 10 days of the extravaganza, which will be held without spectators owing to the pandemic.
The Indian contingent shifted base to Zagreb as it was considered safer for them to train there at a time when the country reeled under a devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During their stay in Croatia, the Indian shooters took part in the European Championships in Osijek, from May 29 to June 6, before participating in the last World Cup before the Olympics, from June 22 to July 3, at the same venue. PTI AH AH ATK ATK