Not one, two or three, but all of his shooters are capable of winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, as well as gold, said Pavel Smirnov, a longtime foreign coach of the Indian pistol team. With unprecedented success in recent years, Indians will enter the upcoming Olympics with high hopes, especially with the tremendous talent of young gun shooters like Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker. Abhish Verma and Yashaswini Singh Deswal will not be left behind as the seasoned Rahi Sarnobat adds strength to the team.
“Everyone can finish on the podium, and over the years I’ve seen a bit of Indian shooting. They can win medals at the highest level on their day. Gold too,” Smirnov told PTI Zagreb.
A praised Indian team failed at the 2016 Rio Games, a surprising result that forced radical changes in India’s shooting facilities, as recommended by the review committee led by Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Smirnov won a silver medal in the 25-meter pistol fire, Vijay Kumar, and was later named foreign coach of the national pistol team.
He says it’s time to look forward to the next edition of the games.
“I’m very hopeful with this team. They deserve to do well because they have made sacrifices, some at a very young age, they have shown maturity and they have worked very hard over the last four years. There is no reason to play very good games,” Smirnov said.
Rio 2016’s disappointment no longer worsens.
“Living in the past has no benefit. That is not under our control. What is in our hands is what we can do in the future and we are thinking that way at the moment.”
Unlike the previous Games, the number of coaches has been reduced for the upcoming Olympics due to the Pandemic.
Along with foreign rifle coach Oleg Mikhailov, however, he will be with the Smirnov team during the Games, and will rotate with others in accordance with the International Olympic Committee’s maximum 30% coaching rules.
“Rules are rules. Everyone has to follow them. The federation will set them that way and I’m sure it’s in the interest of the team,” said Smirnov, who was with the Army before joining the Indian team.
Smirnov was unable to go to the national shooting team in Zagreb on May 11 because he delayed the visa processing process.
However, that was in order and now he is back in his Croatian capital to train his Wardak.
“Well, I’m here and I like to come back with the team. I had a quiet quarantine, but I feel happy to be back inside, among other things. Things are going very well and they have taken very good care of us.”
The coach has been with the Indian team since 2013 and asked him about his future intentions (continued), they said he is currently focused only on the Olympics.
“Now he’s thinking very far. At the moment, I’m thinking about the Olympics,” he signed.
The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 and will feature the Indian shooting team with a record 15 members.
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