London 2012 Olympian Joydeep Karmakar was named the chief national rifle coach by the National Rifle Association of India on Sunday. The 42-year-old’s tenure will run till June 2025 and his big target will of course be the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Karmakar had represented India at the London Olympics in 2012 in the men’s 50m rifle prone event and came close to winning a bronze medal, eventually finishing fourth. He had declined to take up a similar coaching role three years ago. This time, he was selected after an interview process that went on for about three to four months.
“It’s a huge responsibility. It would be a lie if I would say I’m not nervous, as it’s just a little more than two years to Paris. The quota distribution will begin in four months’ time,” Karmakar was quoted as saying by PTI.
“It’s very challenging, definitely. But what’s there in life without challenges. I know many of these guys as young shooters. Maybe a few fresh faces have come up. I will use the next two weeks to understand their mindset. We have to see what ideas they have for shooting. A good coach should also know where to stop.”
In the 50m rifle 3-position, Aishwary Pratap Singh had made news with a gold in the first World Cup of the year where the 20-year-old defeated world champions to climb up the rankings.
But there’s plenty of work to be done. At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, India had a number of medal prospects who came up short.
“I don’t have a magic bullet but I strongly feel Indian shooters are technically very sound,” said Karmakar.
“They have immense capabilities. Our job is to guide them, to lead them to the right place, to make them perform to their highest on the given day. Maybe that we missed.”