New Delhi: The rampant success of Indian shooters around the world has given rise to the hope that they will lead the charge for medals at next month’s Commonwealth Games in Australia. And against the backdrop of the total washout at the Rio Olympics two years ago under similar circumstances, former CWG gold medallist Moraad Ali Khan felt the outcome at Gold Coast would be very different.
“The colour is impossible to predict but I am sure they will come back with 80 per cent of the medals from events they are competing in,” Khan, who won a trap gold at the 2002 Manchester Games, said at the launch of the ‘Rang de Tiranga’ campaign by the Games’ official broadcaster, Sony TV.
“The youngsters are doing really well. We have got world-beaters and I am confident that India will win a majority of medals at the Games. We have a chance in every event that we are competing in,” he said.
Former India hockey captain Zafar Iqbal was hopeful of breaking the CWG jinx despite a strong field that includes five-time champions Australia, Pakistan, Britain, New Zealand and South Africa.
“For some reason, we have never been able to make the breakthrough. Eight years ago we were beaten by Australia here. At Glasgow too, India finished second. This time, hopefully they will go one better,” Zafar said.
India are have fielded 27-member shooting team of 15 men and 12 women for the event including experienced hands like Gagan Narang, Jitu Rai, Sanjeev Rajput, Heena Sidhu and Tejaswini Sawant and a band of young talent that includes teenagers Manu Bhaker, Anish Bhanwala and Mehuli Ghosh.
National boxing observer and 2006 Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar said it was time to change the thinking that foreign coaches could and would do a better job with India’s boxers than home coaches.
One of only five Indian boxers to have claimed a CWG gold, the 37-year old said, “If the foreign coaches are so good, why are they not employed at the sub-junior level?
“If they are so good, let them shape youngsters. Why are finished products handed to them? I am not against hiring foreign coaches but it should not be at the expense of talent which is your own and which is as good,” asked the 2002 gold medallist....