Renowned rifle shooting coach Sanjay Chakravarty, who is credited with mentoring the likes of 2012 London Olympic Games bronze medallist Gagan Narang, and Olympians such as Joydeep Karmakar, Suma Shirur and Anjali Bhagwat in his career spanning more than four decades, passed away due to Covid-related complications on Saturday night in Mumbai. Chakravarty was 79.
The shooting community was plunged in grief on hearing the news, especially the Dronacharya awardee’s pupils, who took to the social media to pay homage.
“The grief of losing a real Dronacharya in Sanjay Sir. Our modern day Dronacharya who created not just one but many Arjunas (including me) and never asked for a Guru Dakshina! Indian Shooting has lost one of its pioneering doyens,” tweeted Suma, who is currently the national rifle coach and working with shooters bound for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“With a very heavy heart, we share the bad news of legendary coach Sri Sanjay Chakravarty’s passing away a few hours ago in Mumbai. He was a Dronacharya awardee for shooting sports and has coached and mentored many stalwarts in Indian shooting. Earlier he battled cancer to be back with us again, but Covid 19 finally got him away from us. We at Indian Shooting Team convey our deepest condolences on his demise. An era gone,” wrote Karmakar, who represented the country in 28 World Cups, two Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and three World Championships, besides narrowly missing a medal at the 2012 London Olympics, losing in the shoot-off to finish fourth.
Though Chakravarty represented the country in quite a few international events, coaching was his true calling.
It was very late in his life that he received the Dronacharya award and that too when he had turned 76 after his students collectively nominated him for the country’s highest coaching award.