Thursday, March 2, 2017

I enjoy fightbacks, says Indian shooter Jitu Rai

India’s gold medallist Jitu Rai (right) and silver medallist Amanpreet Singh pose with their medals after the final of the 50m pistol event in the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/PTI

New Delhi: Having scripted yet another come-from-behind triumph, champion shooter Jitu Rai yesterday said he “enjoys” fighting his way back from difficult situations.

Rai rallied to beat compatriot Amanpreet Singh and bag the gold medal in men’s 50m pistol event with a record score of 230.1 in the ongoing ISSF World Cup at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

Amanpreet was competing in his first World Cup final. “It’s amazing to win this gold medal, during the first combined World Cup held here in India, in front of my supporters. It’s a great honour and a true emotion to see the Indian flag atop the podium,” Rai said after the event. “I closed the 2016 season with a World Cup Final silver, and I always dreamt about starting 2017 in the best way here in India. I wanted our flag to fly high.”

Two medals in two days
This was the 29-year-old’s second medal in two days, having bagged a bronze in 10m air pistol on Tuesday. “I didn’t have a perfect start today, but I guess that’s the fun of the sport. I like it that way, uncertainty is part of the game, otherwise there is no excitement. I climbed into the lead shot after shot and I think it was a nice match. I’m very happy that I made my way back into the top after being at the bottom. I fought till the end and I enjoy doing that. I had one or two bad shots but I told myself that I should not think about that,” he said.

The World Championship silver and Asian Games gold medallist said he was all along confident of a good result.

Meticulous performance
“There was a deficit of 0.3 with Amanpreet in the gold medal round, I was trailing. So, I thought if I’m able to shoot to the best of ability, I could surpass him. The aim was to be meticulous in taking my shot,” he said.

Silver medallist Amanpreet said the pressure got the better of him in the final stages of the event.

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