The critics had almost written him off but the 2004 Olympic Games silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has once again proved all doubters wrong by equalling the double trap world record with a score of 148 out of a best possible 150 in the ongoing inaugural Asian Shotgun Championships in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
In the final, Rathore shot 46 out of 50 to take his overall tally to 194/200 and clinch the individual gold. The army colonel, who had been struggling for a while to regain his lost form, also joined forces with team mates Mohd Asab (131/150) and Yoginderpal (133/150) to grab the team bronze medal for India."This is a lesson not only to me but many others; fortune favours the brave," said Rathore.
“Just when my critics had written me off and I thought the circumstances are not worth fighting against, I am gifted with another feather in my cap to talk about when I grow old,” added the elated marksman from the Malaysian capital.
Rathore’s achievement will count as a new Asian record while the world record will have to be ratified by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF).
Rathore, who had been missing from the main national squad for almost two years, and shooting at the MQS category (Minimum Qualifying Score category) most of the time, is hoping that his latest feat will help him get back his old national team spot.
“In itself, a score of 148 out of 150 in a competition is awesome. I can, for one fleeting moment, pat myself on the back but not without acknowledging my gratitude towards those who stood by a supposedly ‘sinking ship’. I thank my wife without whom nothing would be possible,” said Rathore.
“I guess everyone knew and felt for me in the difficult times I went through in the recent past,” added Rathore, who had failed to qualify for the Commonwealth Games last year due to low-scoring performances in the domestic circuit.