‘Adjusting to new rules and format will be the key ahead of Rio Olympics’

Being the first Indian post independence to win a silver medal in Olympics, Colonel Rajyavardhan's Singh Rathore needs no introduction. The 42-year-old shooter, who claimed a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, is in Patiala to take part in the Second Asian Shooting Championship and Indian Grand Prix. Riding high on good form, he won a bronze medal in the double trap event with a score of 183 on Saturday. In a chat with Sportline, Rathore speaks about his performance, views on the new format and rules and the emergence of young Indian shooters in the present scenario.

Excerpts:

The Double Trap event saw participation from shooters like Ronjan Sodhi, Al Makhtoum Juma and Aldeehani Faheid. How do you rate such competition?

It feels great to compete with the likes of Ronjan Sodhi, London Olympics bronze medallist Fehaid and Juma. I wanted to meet the young shooters and the way they cheered me was tremendous. It's a good time to be a shooter in India. I will surely bring my son later today to see me train and also meet young shooters.

You had a troubling knee before coming into this tournament. How will you rate your bronze medal winning performance here in Patiala?

I am thrilled to have reached this level. I had a surgery last month and I did not want to skip the tournament. I knew if I could push the tempo up, I could do it. That was my plan for this tournament. It is a big tournament in India and most of the top Asian shooters are here including shooters from powerhouses like UAE and Kuwait. Juma and Faheid are world class shooters and the competition will benefit the Indian shooters.

The ISSF has introduced the new rules and format. They will come into effect from next year. How do you see this development for Indian shooters?

... contd.

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