After celebrating his success, Vijay gets down to business
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It has been an incredibly long period of celebrations for Vijay Kumar, the shooter who won a silver at the London Olympics. From functions in Faizabad to felicitations in Chennai, the renowned pistol shooter has constantly been on the move — from one party to the next.
But the high-flying days are finally over, away from the shooting range at least. For on Monday, Vijay left for Bangkok to participate in the ISSF World Cup final. And the hunger for more medals, according to the 25m rapid fire man, has returned just in time to end a very successful season well.
"It's been a hectic two months or so. But I'm glad that I could celebrate achieving my dream thoroughly," says Vijay. "For the last four years, I had worked very hard to fulfill my ambition of winning a medal at the Olympics. And once that happened, I desperately needed a break to charge my batteries."
The charging of batteries happened in due course as Vijay went from around India meeting students and young shooters, inspiring in them the confidence to make it big. "It was good talking to young minds, that itself was a stress-buster. Even my coaches didn't force me back to the range as they knew how badly I needed this. But now I am raring to go," Vijay says.
First up on his cards is of course the event in Thailand, where participation is by invitation only. And this could be the silver-man's golden chance to complete a medal hat-trick at the World Cups. The 27-year old from Himachal won a silver at the 2009 Beijing World Cup, going on to claim a bronze at the next Cup in Fort Benning, USA — a medal that helped him book a berth for London.
"I have been practicing hard for it. My coach Pavel Smirnov flew down from Russia a fortnight ago to restart training. It's the final World Cup of the year and I'm hoping to finish a great year on a high," says Vijay.