Free Press Journal

Shooter Vijay Kumar expects four medals from Rio squad



Kolkata: Olympic silver medalist Vijay Kumar, who failed to make the Rio-bound squad, has now turned into a die-hard supporter and hopes that his countrymates would at least double the tally of London Games.

“We have a fantastic team in Rio. One is better than the other. I strongly hope that we should get at least four medals in shooting,” Vijay told PTI from Army Marksmanship Unit, Mhow near Indore.

The pistol shooter felt sad after failing to make the cut from the Asian Olympic Shooting qualifiers in Delhi in May but he was quick to overcome the disappointment and started living in the moment.

“It can’t be undone now, so let’s not hold on to the past and start looking ahead. At the moment, I can’t wait for the shooting competition to get underway and cheer for India.”

“All of them are high on experience and confidence and there should be no stopping this time. I want to see my country’s flag flying high in Rio.”

India will be represented by 12 shooters in Rio, one better than their strength in London Olympics four years ago as Vijay said it is justified that they should be able to better their London’s tally of two.

Vijay’s feat in 25m rapid fire pistol four years ago once again proved why the sport is India’s best bet as they bagged a second medal through Gagan Narang’s bronze.

“We are not used to shor sharaba (noise). We like to do our job in a quiet manner. We don’t care about whether to be in the limelight or now. Our job is to stay focus on the target.

“And Olympics is the mother of all competition, and happens once in four years. One needs tremendous dedication and hardwork, and it is about peaking at the right time.”

Known to maintain a low profile, Vijay said life has not changed much after his silver medal feat. “Yes I got accolades and rewards poured in but in the end, you start from zero. It’s about going back to domestic competition and start again,” Vijay said.

“We have three important competitions lined up in 2018 — Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the World Championships. I hope to be back again,” the 30-year-old said.