Sanjeev Rajput has always let his rifle do the talking. The shy Navy man clinched the country's third London Olympic Games quota place on way to gold in the ISSF shooting World Cup at Changwon, South Korea on Thursday.
Rajput's 50m rifle 3-position gold has somewhat lifted the gloom surrounding Indian shooting whose performance has curiously dipped after the Guangzhou Asian Games last November.
He bettered his national record on way to the top spot at Changwon with a score of 1278.2 (1176 + 102.2) points.
"Not making it to the Commonwealth Games squad was a big disappointment. But I knew for sure that sooner or later I would make a mark in my favourite event," Rajput had said before the beginning of the season.
He didn't have to wait long to prove his worth. The Navy man became the third Indian shooter after Gagan Narang and Hariom Singh to clinch the 2012 Olympic quota berth.
Rajput was looking forward to making it to the Delhi CWG team when a rat-bite a day before the deciding trials in Pune ruined everything. He requested the national coach to exempt him from the trials and take his previous scores into consideration. The Haryana shooter's request was turned down and he was left with no option but to appear for trials with fever.
"It is really a great achievement for Indian shooting. With this score, he can make it to the podium at the London Olympics," said Deep Bhatia, secretary-general, Haryana State Rifle Association.
Rajput’s father, Krishan Lal, told HT that, "The World Cup title will help him forget the CWG disappointment.”