This first competition of the World Championship can win them quota for the Olympics: Samaresh Jung

Samaresh Jung has been one of the torch-bearers for shooting in India. In a storied career that lasted for over a decade, Samaresh has won many a laurel for India including a whopping seven medals in the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Nicknamed ‘Goldfinger’ for his tremendous achievement in the sport of shooting, Samaresh has moved on to coaching now in his attempt to give it back to the sport that has given so much fame and adulation in life.
We had an opportunity to catch up in an exclusive chat during the National Games 2022, where he spoke at length about various topics on Indian shooting.
Excerpts
Q. Tell us about the preparation of the Air Pistol shooters for the National Games and Paris 2024.
A. Firstly, National games were not in the plan. It just popped up. Of course, it will be a stepping stone for the shooters and also a kind of performance check for them. India collected 15 medals in shooting- five gold, six silver and four bronze to top the medals tally at the shooting World Cup held recently. I believe this has been truly a more than decent performance by the Indian shooting team. Now, the real goal is the World Championship and Paris Olympics. Also, the National Games 2022 is a good platform and will boost up their confidence. There is excitement amongst the sports stars as well, as this event is happening after seven years.
Q. What are your expectations from the shooters at the National Games?
A. Air Pistol squad comprises Shiva Narwal (Haryana) Naveen (Services) and Sagar Dangi (UP). In girls we have Manu Bhaker (Haryana), Palak Ghulia (Haryana), Rhythm Sangwan (Haryana) and Yuvika Tomar (UP) and other top performers. So, the squad consists of 16 men and 16 women shooters and they have all their guns ready in real sense. They are just waiting to blaze when the time comes.
Needless to say, after the National Games, the first competition of the World Championship can win them a quota for the Olympics too. They just need to perform well consistently.
Q. What’s the strategy this time if you want to open up a bit?
A. Strategy, basically is that we have young shooters, some experienced and some not so experienced. We are training them hard. They have great ability and they just need to focus on becoming good competitors and performers too. As I say, the mantra is “Do not concentrate on the concentration, concentrate on the work you are doing at that particular point of time.”

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