Rudranksh Patil shines on disappointing year for shooting
The organizers of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games also did not include shooting in these games this time. Rudraksh, who challenged in the 10m air rifle, became the world champion in Cairo by beating veteran shooters and also secured a quota for the Paris Olympics 2024.
Indian shooters had a disappointing year but rifle shooter Rudranksh Patil wrote a new chapter of success. The organizers of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games also did not include shooting in these games this time. Rudraksh, who challenged in the 10m air rifle, became the world champion in Cairo by beating veteran shooters and also secured a quota for the Paris Olympics 2024. Rudraksh now has his sights set on equaling the feat of 2008 Beijing Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, India’s only Olympic gold medalist shooter, at the Olympics.
The Indian shooting scene has seen a steady rise of young shooters over the years and 2022 was no different. Apart from Rudraksh, trap shooter Bhavnish Mendiratta and Swapnil Kusale in 50m rifle 3 positions were successful in securing Paris Olympic quotas. However, disappointment befell India when its 15-strong team returned empty-handed from the Tokyo Olympics. Criticism was inevitable after such a performance and fans questioned the National Shooting Federation of India as to what went wrong in Tokyo.
After the poor performance in Tokyo, some new faces were needed to remove the clouds of despair and Rudraksh did the job. Rudraksh from Thane, who turned 19 a few days ago, has set his sights on Olympic gold like Bindra. Rudranksh, the son of an IPS officer, has consistently done well in domestic tournaments but not many would have expected him to bag a gold medal at the World Championships in Cairo. Rudraksh’s family, however, had full faith in his potential.
The teenage shooter beat Italy’s Danilo Denis Solazzo to win the gold medal and became only the second Indian after Bindra to achieve the feat in air rifle. He is only the sixth world champion shooter from India after Bindra, Tejaswini Sawant, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Om Prakash Mitharwal and Ankur Mittal. The Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou next year and several other international events will provide opportunities to not only Rudraksh but also young Mendiratta and experienced Kusale to hone their skills ahead of the Olympics.
Mendiratta was unfortunate not to medal at the shotgun world championships in Osijek, Croatia in September. He, however, managed to secure an Olympic quota by finishing fourth. The 23-year-old Mendiratta from Faridabad also left behind the disappointment of no Indian trap shooter qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. This was the first time since 1992 that not a single shooter from India was participating in the trap and double trap events at the Olympics.
After securing three quota places, the Indian shooters will target more quota places in the qualification cycle that runs till June 2024. Indian shooters will look to dominate the World Championships to be held in August next year and the Asian Championships to be held in October. Apart from youngsters like Rudranksh, India also has experienced shooters like skeet shooter Meraj Ahmed Khan, who will probably have his last chance to clinch an Olympic medal.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.
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