India should have 2024 Olympics in mind, not just 2016: Samaresh Jung

Pune: Veteran Indian shooter Samaresh Jung, who won the David Dixon Award for the ‘Best Athlete’ of the 2006 Commonwealth Games for his unprecedented haul of 8 medals, including five gold medals, has his pulse ready on Indian shooting. Jung, who is here to participate and share his experience with youngsters in the Seed Gun for Glory Shooting Championship, which kicks off on Wednesday, lauded the organisers for creating a platform like ‘Fan Championship’ so that youngsters can get closer to the sport.

Jung, who carried the baton relay at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Delhi CWG, said, “It is great to see people paying so much attention to shooting. The Seed Gun for Glory Shooting Championship is one of the many ways to promote shooting in India. Bavaria, a region in Germany, alone, has 20 times more shooters than entire India. If shooting can become popular there why can’t it be popular in a country with more than a billion population. Youngsters will discover the joy of shooting here through this event.”

The air pistol ace said the government must plan not only for 2016 Olympics but for many years ahead in advance. “We have achieved certain standards but we have to improve further. Everybody else in the world is improving, and if we just sit on it we are not going to get anything out of the sport in the future. The planning should not only be for 2016, it should be for many years ahead, up to 2024,” Jung said.

The former Commonwealth Games champion said that shooting has the potential to become a mass sport in India. But, for that, the authorities need to create small ranges all over the country and ensure proper coaching and equipment facilities are available. “Till now, the emphasis was on creating huge ranges, but we need many more small ranges so that people can actually go and shoot there. We need coaches at different levels, starting from the scratch,” said Jung.

The 41-year-old shooting champion said he is always around to help young shooters and share his knowledge and experience with them. “I will be participating in the Seed Gun for Glory Championship, but if someone wants me to help them, I’m more than willing to give tips,” he said.

The second edition of the Seed Gun for Glory Shooting Championship, under the aegis of the Gagan Narang Sports Promotion Foundation, and supported by NRAI, will be held here at the Shiv-Chhatrapati Sports Complex Shooting Range, Balewadi, from September 12-18.

By Indian Sports News Network