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Monday, September 22, 2014

Jitu Rai does India proud .... the new Gold finger..

Incheon, literally 'kind river', a city located in northwestern South Korea, is the centre of attraction now as it hosts the 2014 Asian Games, officially known as the XVII Asiad …….   It is  the third time Korea has hosted the OCA’s showpiece event, following Seoul in 1986 and Pusan in 2002. Expectations of improved Indian performance is high in the air – last time (2010) India finished with 65 medals of which 14 were Gold medals.  Traditionally shooters have held Indian flag flying high.

In the London Olympics, Subedar Major Vijay Kumar excelled by winning silver medal.    Earlier it was Jaspal Rana,  a gold medallist at the 1994 Asian Games,1998 Commonwealth Games  and Ronjan Sodhi  who won two silver medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games.

……….. and the new Goldfinger is ‘Jitu Rai’.  Not since Jaspal Rana's heyday has India produced a pistol shooter with such a Midas touch as the country's latest shooting star. In the last three months, the Nepal-born Indian Army soldier has produced a run of success to rival the greats of world shooting, winning three World Cup medals, a World Championship silver (with a Rio Olympics quota spot) and a Commonwealth Games gold medal.   

At Korea on Saturday, he put up a nerveless performance to clinch India's first gold at the 17th Asian Games in the men's 50m pistol event.

From his very first shot in the competition soon after 9.30 am local time till the 8.4 he scored with his final bullet at the Ongnyeon range, Jitu soaked up pressure like a sponge.  Looking cool, composed and focused each time he raised his pistol to fire at the target, he seemed to be in the 'zone'.

It was certainly a great moment for the Nation as the Indian flag went up and the national anthem was played – kudos to Jitu for that golden performance.   In the teams event, India finished fourth, behind China, South Korea and Vietnam.

Away from the main arena comes the news that Indian Olympic Association has been fined USD 10,000 for withdrawing teams from the Asian Games at a late stage;  All India Tennis Association chief Anil Khanna is hopeful that the penalty would be withdrawn.

The shooting range has proved good as the women's pistol trio of Rahi Sarnobat, Anisa Sayyed and Heena Sidhu shot down a bronze.  Besides the Gold of Jitu Rai, Shweta Chaudhary won the Bronze in women’s 10M air pistol; Jitu Rai combined with Samaresh Jung & Prakash Nanjappa in Men’s 10M Airpistol team to win Bronze. 
Looking forward to lot more from Team India.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Sept 2014

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