India’s Italian skeet coach stops seeking a say in the squad

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Italian national Indian skeet coach Ennio Falco has resigned after his request to have a say in the selection of the national team was rejected by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). “It’s time to think things over and move on,” said the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games champion from Capua, Italy. “I will join the new team (Qatar) shortly.”

It is unusual for a foreign coach who has been with India for six years to raise an issue in favor of selecting a lower ranked fencer, as this collides with NRAI’s policy to rank even for the Games Olympic. India won a record 15 quota places, including two in shotgun events, for the Tokyo Olympics next year. The spots are for the country, not for the shooters.

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Although Falco published his papers last month, NRAI tried to persuade him to stay. According to a national coach familiar with the development, he also wants a raise. “If he is not allowed to select a fencer from the team, his salary should be 2000 euros (around R1.75 lakh) per day, which would be three times his current figure of 600 euros (around R52 .000.) Per day, ”the coach said. His contract is to work 160 days a year.

Falco’s contract, renewed in August, and runs until September 2021. Although NRAI did not accept the Italian’s request, eight months away from the Olympics his presence will benefit the team, said the team. head shotgun trainer Mansher Singh. “We shouldn’t lose him,” he added.

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In the 2019 Olympics qualifying round, India won two quota places in skeet thanks to Angadvir Singh Bajwa and Mairaj Ahmad Khan. Bajwa is also training with Norwegian Tore Brovold. Khan and others only work under Falco. Falco said the national team reshuffle was important in giving visibility to future shooters, praising a third member of the national mix, Sheeraz Sheikh.

The Italian criticized India for using national tries to select the team. “It can be important for the national federation, but a change of policy is essential. If a good shooter misses a target, it could make or break their career. It can also have an impact on the work of the coach. In my country, there are no trials, ”he said, stressing a more important role for the coach.

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NRAI president Raninder Singh did not respond to calls and texts. An international shooter said Falco was a good coach, but a change in policy would be difficult. “It’s a measurable sport. A shooter on the sidelines, even if the gap between the first and the fourth or fifth rank is marginal, cannot obtain a preference, ”said the shooter, who did not wish to be identified.

The second phase of the pre-Olympic shotgun camp, initially scheduled for November 26 at Dr Karni Singh’s shooting ranges, will begin on December 4. “The delay is due to air pollution in the capital,” said an NRAI official.

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