Abhinav Bindra to head NRAI review committee on Rio Olympics shooting performance

Abhinav Bindra to head NRAI review committee on Rio Olympics shooting performance

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India’s first and only individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra has been named the chairman of a five-member review committee to probe Indian shooters' performance at Rio. Other committee members include former tennis player Manisha Malhotra, NRAI Secretary Rajiv Bhatia and two journalists.

After clinching a gold in the 2008 Olympics and two medals – a bronze and a silver – in the 2012 Olympics, India’s 12-member shooting contingent travelled to Rio hoping to improve the medals tally. But, among the 12, just two managed to enter a final. Abhinav Bindra finished fourth in 10m air rifle event and missed the podium by a whisker, while Jitu Rai finished 8th in the 10m pistol event. With the shooting team failing to win any medal, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has formed a five-member committee to review the shooter’s performance at Rio.

Abhinav Bindra has been named as the chairman of the committee, whose mandate is to "examine and identify in a cold and ruthless manner" the reason behind the shooting team’s performance at Rio, reported PTI. The committee is also mandated to recommend steps to NRAI to avoid the same happening in future tournaments.

Bindra, who retired from shooting after the Rio Olympics, has reportedly told NRAI that he will not be questioning any of his teammates, but will be open to any assessment by the committee.

The NRAI order states that only in "matters specifically pertaining to the interview or findings/conclusions, if any, against or in favour of any Olympic team athlete that may be examined by the committee, the Chairman of the committee shall be exempt participation from such tasks by recusal, however, upon his own request he too shall make himself available for interview by the remainder of the panel," reported PTI.

The order further states that, "for this specific issue only, the remaining members of the commission shall officiate jointly, where majority view shall prevail".

Other members of the committee include former tennis player Manisha Malhotra, who has also been appointed as the Convenor of the committee, NRAI Secretary Rajiv Bhatia, and two journalists. The committee will hold its first meeting on August 30 or 31.  

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