HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014
Shooters get lot of attention, it's payback time now: Karmakar
New Delhi, July 10, 2012
First Published: 15:21 IST(10/7/2012)
Last Updated: 15:25 IST(10/7/2012)

Even as the others remained oblivious, the hype surrounding India's shooting contingent ahead of the London Olympics has been been lapped up by marksman Joydeep Karmakar, who says the team is working hard towards living up to the expectations of millions.

"I'll always love the attention and the growing well wishers the shooters are attracting. And why not, they deserve it. But with all these, also comes high expectations, which I think is quite natural. And we shooters are surely working on our responsibility to pay back," Karmakar told PTI.

Too much expectations, though, could lead to heartbreak, the 33-year-old shooter from Kolkata felt.

Karmakar rated the 11-member shooting contingent as the strongest ever to represent the country in Olympics.

"This time around the team is immensely talented and more professional. The training has been more scientifically executed. This side is perhaps the strongest to ever represent India at the Olympics, and everyone in the team has the ability to perform at the highest level."

The shooter, who was given a quota place in 50m Rifle Prone event on the basis of his consistency, is now focused on his final phase of preparations.

"It's this final phase where focusing on competitive strategies and tactical implications weigh heavier than learning new things. My training has been of high quality, the progress has been steady with my coach and team in Germany.

"The initial phase involved a lot of excitement and frolic, but the later phase of preparation is about more purpose and deliverance.

"A matured preparedness is required to face a high intensity competition. But nervousness was never a part of me from day 1 till now as I emphasised more on training and technical aspects than only results."

Karmakar was in Germany and France for a while, training with Abhinav Bindra and coach Heinz Reinkemeier, who helped the 10-metre rifle ace from Zirakpur, Punjab clinch the historic gold medal in Beijing.

"Abhinav is surely a dear friend and a good support. But his plans, event and technical preparation is different to that of mine. Yes, I had  few days of training with him in Germany and France, it was a very good experience.

"Heinz is an amazing coach, he knows exactly to treat the psyche of an athlete apart from the technical aspects. He is being a constant support and a team of experts of highly qualified trainers are working together with me."

Asked if he already has any specific score in mind, Karmakar said, "I will rather try to keep it simple. The only thing is to wait till the picture completes on 3rd August,"

When he was asked about the importance of peaking at right time, Karmakar said, "It's the trick which sets apart the men from the boys! I'm trying to work on that, but it's not so easy to control... balance your best to restrict it to a low key. It's like an ambush tactic, too much excitement and you are sure to make mistakes."

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Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
England 58 59 57 174
Australia 49 42 46 137
Canada 32 16 34 82
Scotland 19 15 19 53
India 15 30 19 64
New Zealand 14 14 17 45
South Africa 13 10 17 40
Nigeria 11 11 14 36
Kenya 10 10 5 25
Jamaica 10 4 8 22
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