Reigning national double-trap champion Vikram Bhatnagar retained the title on the final day of the National Shotgun Championships at the New Moti Bag Gun Club on Monday.
With Athens Olympic silver-medallist RVS Rathore and World Cup gold-medallist Ronjan Sodhi in the line-up, winning the title was not easy for the Delhi marksman. But his self-belief kept him going and he made it to the final with a score of 137/150 — four points ahead of the rest. In the final, he fired 41/50 to clinch gold with an overall tally of 178.
Two-time Asian junior champion Ajay Mittal, who turned senior this year, won silver with a score of 174, while Ronjan finished third with 171. Once again, it was not a good day for Rathore as he failed to make it to the final, finishing 11th with 117 points.
“I kept my cool and focussed only on the targets. There was some variation in the flight of the clay pigeons, so I relied on my eyes rather than on the movement of the barrel that we generally follow during practice,” said Bhatnagar.
Talking about his next target, the champion said, “The Commonwealth Championship and the World Cups are my immediate target. And after that, I’ll focus on the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.” Bhatnagar also helped Delhi lift the team title. Yoginder Pal Singh and Sangram Dahiya were the other members.