Indian shooters could start training together for the Tokyo Olympics with care and caution, according to Abhinav Bindra.

Earlier this year, the 2020 Olympics was rescheduled to next summer owing to the coronavirus pandemic. But the sporting extravaganza is only “around the corner” for Bindra, who believes that succeeding in these Games requires years of planning, dedication and practice.

“I think it is great to see that effort is being made to resume activities. With the Olympic Games in Tokyo around the corner, it would be lovely to have our athletes train in the best way possible,” Bindra told.

“Efforts must be made to ensure safety and that protocols on sanitation and social distancing are followed, which is easier as a non-contact sport. I am optimistic about re-opening, and hope it is done with care and caution.”

The National Rifle Association of India has decided to conduct a national camp from October 5 to November 8, after receiving requests from the chief coaches in rifle, pistol and shotgun events to conduct at least a month-long camp immediately for better preparation of the shooters.

Bindra, who remains India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist said that the resumption of sporting activities can have a positive affect on a world scarred by the unprecedented health crisis.

“Sport has the power to bring communities today, and even transcend race, culture, and language.

“While I understand that large scale events may be difficult to organise with crowds, safe and steady increments must be made to bringing back sport. It can serve as a morale booster for the country and everyone involved,” said the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist in 10m air rifle event.

The NRAI had postponed the compulsory training camp for its core group planned from August 1 after taking into account the situation arising out of the pandemic.

However, a handful of shooters who are part of the core group have been training on their own at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range since the facility was reopened for use on July 8. They have been adhering to the health and safety protocols.

Several shooters have been training at their respective bases since the pandemic forced a closure of the facilities.

With PTI Inputs