RVS Rathore gave himself an early birthday gift, winning his first major medal in more than three years by clinching the double-trap gold on the inaugural day of the National Shotgun Championships at the Karni Singh Ranges on Tuesday.
The 2004 Athens Olympic Games silver-medallist, who will turn 41 on January 29, came up with an inspiring performances on a day when chilly winds forced most of the marksmen to shoot wearing heavy woollens.
But Chilly - as Rathore is fondly called by friends - warmed up the arena with his performance and silenced his critics who have been critical of his performance after the 2006 Melbounre Commonwealth Games, where he took gold.
"It's good to be back. I wanted to make one comeback if only to prove my critics wrong," said Rathore who shot a 42/50 in the finals to add to his 138/150 in the qualification to aggregate 180. It was a three-way affair in the finals with Rathore, champion in the last two editions Vikram Bhatnagar, and Md Ashab placed on 138. But a costly double miss by Bhatnagar saw Rathore edge ahead and win the title.