India shooters rue lack of hostel in best shooting range of India

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Top Indian shooters, who have sealed their quotas for Tokyo Olympics next year, lamented the lack of lodging facilities at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi. The shooters revealed that they always had to book a hotel whenever they came to the capital city to practice or compete.

With the ISSF World Cups all but done, the Indian shooters would get busy with the sixth and seventh national trials later this year at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, which is widely believed to be the best in the country. However, one of the long-term problems of the range has been the lack of hostels and the shooters were quick to point it out in an interview with TOI. 

"The Karni Singh shooting range is the best in the country. But the biggest inconvenience for us is the lack of hostel facility. Most of us belong to other states. We come here to make best use of the resources available at the range. For that, we have to stay for a long period of time in Delhi. So our options are either we book a hotel or stay at any friend's place. A hostel would be a massive help," said Yashaswini Singh Deswal, who recently won gold in 10m air pistol event in Rio de Janeiro, reported TOI.

Both Yashaswini and Manu Bhaker have moved to Delhi after getting chance in Delhi University's Lady Shriram College, and also needed to ensure that their practice went unhindered. However, world no.1 rifle shooter Apurvi Chandela has pointed out that the young shooters suffered the most with the range situated on the outskirts of Delhi, therefore making travelling an issue.

"Commuting is a problem. The range is far from the city and it takes a lot of time to reach there. This is India's premier facility and some kind of boarding and lodging facility should come up as soon as possible. There is so much shooting talent in our country and if we have the right kind of facility available, it is going to bloom even further," said Apurvi Chandela.

Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju has, however, promised that the issue would be solved as soon as possible with the hostel facilities likely to come up within two years at the Karni Singh range.

"Just recently, I visited the Dr. Karni Singh shooting range. It is one of the finest shooting ranges in the world. Hostel and lodging facilities will come up fast. Most probably within next two years," he said.

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