Olympian Joydeep Karmakar takes over as national chief rifle coach

KOLKATA: Bengal shooter Joydeep Karmakar is ready to wear a new hat as the Olympian was named the chief national rifle coach by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). The London Olympian will be in charge of the Indian continent for the Paris Olympics 2024 as his contract runs till 2025.

“It was a bit unexpected. But I always like to take up challenges and hence agreed to it,” Karmakar said during an interaction with the media here on Saturday. Karmakar, who missed an Olympic bronze by a whisker in 2012 Olympics in the men’s 50 metre rifle prone event, has been running his own shooting academy in the city from 2015. He now gets a chance to bring an Olympic medal for the country in a new role.

The 42-year-old understood his role will be under the scanner after the Indian shooters returned empty-handed from the Tokyo Games last year. The national federation too had gone for a significant overhaul of the coaching staff. “I know the time is short. I just got two years for the Paris event. But I am ready to give my best shot,” he stated, adding that he will be starting his new assignment from Sunday by joining the National camp ahead of the World Cup scheduled in Baku from May 25.

“I feel our shooters are failing in the big arena apparently because they are unable to handle pressure. It is also possible that most of them are unable to peak at the right time,” Karmakar said. However, taking up the new role also marked the end of Karmakar’s shooting career.

“I did not formally announce my retirement from the sport. But after taking over this role, I have decided to bring the curtains down on my career as a shooter,” Karmakar, who represented the country till 2014, said.