Dejected but not out, Vijay promises to return for 2020 Olympics

  • Vinayak Padmadeo, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 29, 2016 17:55 IST
Shooter Vijay Kumar in action during the 25m rapid fire pistol in Asian Olympic Qualifying Competition. (HT Photo)

Vijay Kumar stayed away from the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, New Delhi, on Friday. He had no reason to be here after his hopes to participate at this year’s Rio Olympic Games were dashed on Thursday.

A few miss hits in the final had cost him a place. For Vijay, a London Olympics silver medallist and winner of multiple Commonwealth Games gold, it’s time to contemplate his future.

“I have no match to shoot and that’s why I am not coming,” he said a day after his fifth place finish in the 25-metre rapid fire event. Still bullish about his chances of returning to his glory days, the 30-year-old Army man said Thursday’s setback doesn’t mean he will fade away. He says age is on his side.

Since the loss, the otherwise on-demand interviewee has gone off the radar of most media personnel. The abrupt drop in attention is new to the shooter, but Vijay was magnanimous and said he understands why and when an athlete garners attention.

“I didn’t lose because of media pressure or any such issue. I know why they liked us and it is understood that whoever goes to the Olympics, wins it, gets the media attention. Tomorrow if I start winning I will again get the same attention. So it is all part of the game,” he said.

Disappointed he may be, but Vijay’s confidence hasn’t sunken to a low that he would throw in the towel. The shooter is instead plotting his way back to the top of the game.

“I shot well in the qualifications. A little luck my way, who knows I would have won the quota. I am not going anywhere because of this result. In coming days I will sit with my coach and analyse where I went wrong and what needs to be done to correct those mistakes,” he said.

As if to ensure no doubt remained, Vijay proclaims: “Now I will start building and planning for Tokyo Olympics. I did work hard this time too, but that is history now.”

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