India’s junior shooters return home after flight makes emergency landing in Bangkok

first_imgIndia’s junior shooters were stranded at Bangkok airport while returning from the World Championships in Changwon, South Korea, when their flight was forced to make an emergency landing.11 shooters, who were mostly teenagers, travelled from Changwon to Bangkok, and were on a Thai Airways flight to Delhi. The coaches and officials who were travelling with the shooters were on a different flight.According to reports, the flight was diverted back after the crew noticed a technical problem an hour after taking off.The shooters have returned home after the scare.But Asian Games 2018 gold medallist Saurabh Chaudhary, who was also on the flight, didn’t panic as they bounded together as a team.However, back home, worried parents waited eagerly for their wards to return. They called for some officials to travel with the team.”I got a call from my kid from the Bangkok airport and I was informed that their flight had made an emergency landing. We are worried as they are young kids and there is no adult accompanying them to Delhi. Most of the kids’ cellphones are not working. I feel some official from the federation or sports authority should have accompanied them during the travel,” said a shooter’s parent, who didn’t wish to be named.National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh clarified that the junior shooters were accompanied by two coaches, but till Bangkok.He said that two coaches had accompanied the shooters from Changwon to Bangkok, but they took a flight to Mumbai only an hour before the team flew. He also added that the association had planned the flights such that the shooters would board their flight before the coaches took theirs.advertisementNRAI also assured that they were in touch with senior shooter Shivam Shukla, who was on the flight. Shukla was helping NRAI make the necessary arrangements. NRAI also added that the shooters were expected to reach Delhi around midnight, but they not prepared for an emergency like the one on Wednesday.All said and done, a war of words erupted between Sports Authority of India (SAI) and NRAI, with respect to responsibility of the whole ordeal.The Director General of SAI, Neelam Kapur said it is the NRAI’s job to plan the schedule.”SAI is responsible for providing funds to the federations for travel and stay. The federation books tickets through SAI’s official travel agent and plans accommodation according to their convenience and schedule. NRAI should also make sure that they should not let the juniors travel alone. It is their responsibility to ensure some coach or official is with the shooters throughout the travel,” she told TOI.”It is shocking to see the callous attitude of the federation. It’s a very serious violation of the norms (sending the juniors back without a coach). Fortunately, no untoward incident has happened.”last_img