Trap shooting: Silver medal winner at Asian Games, U.P’s Shardul Vihan aims for gold at Khelo India
Shardul believes that the competition level in shotgun shooting at the Khelo India University Games is higher because players have to demonstrate their skills in a structured manner to progress further.
LUCKNOW Meerut-lad, Shardul Vihan, who’s the only trap shooter from Uttar Pradesh participating in Khelo India games this year, is fixated on winning the gold. This is Shardul’s third time particpating in the sports extravaganza. In 2018, he already proved his mettle by clinching the silver medal in the double trap event in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. With that win, he became the youngest athlete to win a medal for India in the Asian Games.
A third-year student pursuing BBA at Shobhit University, Shardul has also won a gold medal in the junior trap team event at the Valerj Championship held in Osijek, Croatia. He has previously participated in shooting events in Bhubaneswar and Bengaluru. The emerging sports sensation won bronze medals on both occasions.
Son to a real-estate businessman, Shardul started training for shooting at the age of 12. He used to travel to Delhi every day to learn the sport. Despite challenges, his passion to bring medals for the country remained firm and the distance fell short to his dedication. He says that his goal now is to ‘change the colour of his medals’ at the Khelo India University Games.
Shardul believes that the competition level in shotgun shooting at the Khelo India University Games is higher because players have to demonstrate their skills in a structured manner to progress further. He compared it to his experience of playing pre-state matches before participating in zonal competitions and then moving on to nationals. Participating universities from all over India make it a national-level competition, which is well-organised and provides an ‘international feel’ for new players.
Like other athletes, Shardul’s ultimate goal is to win a medal for India in the Olympics. Currently practicing at the Karni Singh Shooting Range in Delhi, Shardul emphasised that an Olympic gold medal is the pinnacle for any sportsperson. He aspires to bring a gold medal in shooting to his country, state, and family.
To keep himself mentally fit, Shardul practices yoga and pranayama. For physical fitness, he plays badminton, which he believes is good for hand-eye coordination, an essential aspect of shooting.