Indian shooters humiliated in London, NRAI to lodge protest

Goof-up by event management company results in Indian shooters wait at the hotel lobby in London; NRAI demands strict action, says a report in The DNA.

“In a shocking incident on Saturday, the elite contingent of Indian shooters, which include ace Indian shooter and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput, Vijay Kumar, Rahi Sarnobat, Joydeep Karmakar amongst others, were evicted from a London hotel and they had to spend the night at the hotel lobby without food and water, due to mismanagement, lack of coordination and bungling by the event management company that coordinated their trip,” says the DNA report.

“We were left without any food for nearly seven hours for no fault of ours. It was really insulting for all of us, as the hotel staff was unwilling to listen to anything. It was only after the Indian Embassy intervened that an alternative arrangement was provided in Hotel Radisson,” men’s 25-metre rapid fire pistol shooter Pemba Tamang told DNA after his return from London.

Meanwhile taking strong exception to the shabby treatment meted out to Indian shooters who were thrown out of their hotel rooms in London on Saturday despite a valid booking, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) said it will write to the organizers of the London Olympics to lodge an official protest.

“The same thing happened in 2002 (during the Manchester Commonwealth Games) too when Indian shooters were treated shabbily. We did lodge an official complaint then but didn’t pursue it. But now they have repeated the same behaviour and it is not acceptable,” Baljeet Singh Sethi, senior advisor of NRAI, told TOI.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, India’s overall performance in the Senior Asian Championships at Pyeongtaek, South Korea, helped the country earn two quota places --- one each in the men’s and women’s section.

The eight-member men’s team collected 134 points to finish fifth and win a quota place after nearly a decade, while the seven-member women’s team finished fourth with 93 points, which was enough to fetch a second quota place for the country.
After Karnam Malleswari's bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympic, Indian weightlifting was hit by doping scandals at the Athens (2004) and Beijing Games (2008).

The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) ensured that it steered clear of controversy this time. “Hopefully, the lifters will raise the bar further in London,” said Birendra Prasad Baishya, the IWF president.