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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore - not in the squad to London Olympics

To remain at top is most difficult and to time one’s retirement is tougher still…. As the Nation debates on what Sachin should do – whether should call it a day by himself or should he be allowed to have the 100th ton as more cricket is left in him.    India’s greatest all rounder ever Kapil Dev feels that Sachin Tendulkar should retire from One-Dayers – that he should have announced his retirement before the World Cup.  He is quoted as sayting “Having served India for 22-23 years, there surely is no greater cricketer than him. But he should have announced his decision to retire from the shorter format soon after the World Cup,”   Tendulkar is struggling in the recent ODI series; so also are the youngsters Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja ….

“We are living in a world that is constantly changing. Yet, ironically, India’s Sports bodies do not want to change. Implying that either our present sports administrations are much superior to that of other countries or that we have interests other then sports and prestige of our country guiding our actions.”  Blogged a great Sportsperson.  Sure all of us remember  Abhinav Singh Bindra who won the Gold  in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and  became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games.  Earlier, there was the literal silver lining provided by Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.   The  Indian shooter  won the silver medal in Men's Double Trap at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.  By that phenomenon feat, he became the first Indian (post independence) to win an individual silver, after Norman Pritchard, a British citizen, who won two silver medals at the 1900 Paris Olympics.

Those are the lines on the blog of Rathore – not after the present announcement.  It is sad to read the  squad announced by the National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) selection committee.  The  squad for the London Games conspicuously does not have the great  Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore,  and that certainly leaves us disappointed if not with bitter feelings. The selectors preferred rifle shooter Joydeep Karmakar and pistol shooter Heena Sidhu instead.

Missing out were Hariom Singh and Army’s Imran Hasan Khan, as the calculations of various scores the shooters had managed, were also taken into account while picking the team.  Rathore,  was in good form,  had won gold at the Asian Shotgun Championship,  and was tipped to get the berth; but the selectors preferred rising talents Heena Sidhu and Joydeep Karmakar  in the 11-member Indian shooting team.

Heena figured in the list after the selection committee exchanged the quota won in 50M Rifle 3 Position (Imran) with Air Pistol women event as it felt that India has a better chance of winning a medal in air pistol.  As per International Shooting Sport Federation rule, a country is allowed to exchange one quota won by its shooters with another, subject to its availability and confirmation by ISSF.  Imran, despite having a quota, was left out as India has already reserved a maximum two slots in the 50M Rifle 3 Position category – that of Gagan Narang and Sanjeev Rajput who are ranked higher than Imran and have also qualified for the Games.

For the record, it is for the first time that a woman trap shooter would participate in Olympic Games since the start of quota system in 1988, with Shagun Chowdhary representing India in this event.  The selected shooters would be participating in nine events – rifle/pistol and shotgun. Eight coaches will be accompanying the team to London. It was also decided to keep one shooter as reserve category in each event for unforeseen circumstances.

This is the list of shooters announced for London Olympics :
Air Rifle Men and 50M Rifle 3 Position Men: Gagan Narang, Abhinav Bindra, Sanjeev Rajput.
50M Rifle Prone and Air Pistol Women: Joydeep Karmakar, Annuraj Singh, Gagan Narang, Heena Sidhu
Sports Pistol: Rahi Sarnobat, Annuraj Singh Trap Men: Manavjit Singh Sandhu Double Trap: Ronjan Sodhi Trap Women: Shagun Chowdhary
Rapid Fire Pistol: Vijay Kumar Reserves: 3 P Men – Imran Hasan Khan, Prone Men – Sushil Ghaley,
Air Rifle Men – Sateyendra Singh, Rapid Fire Pistol – Pemba Tamang, Sports Pistol – Anisa Sayyed, Air Pistol Women – Shweta Chaudhary, Trap Men – Anirudh Singh, Double Trap – RVS Rathore, Trap Women – Seema Tomar

Cannot call it entirely emotional or sentimental, but the dropping of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore did make me feel sad…..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

1 comment:

  1. Yes Rajiyavarthan did make us feel great and there is reason to feel sad now....