National association selects 15 shooters for Sahara help


New Delhi: The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has selected 15 shooters who will be provided graded system of sponsorship by Sahara India to prepare them for the 2012 London Olympics.

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However, Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra’s name is missing from the list.

Among the selected shooters are big names like Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Gagan Narang, Samresh Jung, Ranjon Sodhi and Manavjit Singh.

“Sahara India Pariwar along with the NRAI has identified 15 shooters, including five women, who will be provided support till after the Olympics at London in 2012,” Sahara said in an official statement.

“This tie-up of four years provides graded system of sponsorship payment for the selected shooters depending on the performance and achievements which would be reviewed every year by the federation,” the statement said.

On Bindra’s omission from the list, NRAI secretary Baljeet Singh Sethi said that his name was not considered for two reasons.

“Abhinav’s expectation was too high, and secondly he was enjoying support from other quarters.”

“NRAI desired to share the sponsorship money among the maximum number of shooters without any disparity. NRAI for obvious reason did not want to miss the unique opportunity and kind gesture of Sahara,” Sethi said.

Sahara India also announced the sponsoring of the Shooting National Championship and a new shooting event called Champion of Champions.

Earlier, the company had pledged support for boxing, wrestling and archery.

“In these four disciplines, Sahara India is supporting a total of 56 sportsmen for four years until after London Olympics 2012.”

Subrata Roy, chairman of Sahara India Pariwar, said: “India has immense potential in sport. The support to shooting is part of our series towards promoting all such sports at ground level which have the potential to bring fame to the country.”