Samaresh's amazing adaptability
As pistol ace Samaresh Jung stands on the podium day after day, it is hard not to think of his killer instinct, even though his surname has nothing to do with it!india Updated: Mar 23, 2006 12:30 IST
When the British media used the adjective "Boom Boom" to describe Boris Becker after his Wimbledon triumph in 1985, the German objected because he felt it had war-like connotations.
Today, as our own pistol ace Samaresh Jung stands on the podium day after day in Melbourne, it is hard not to think of his killer instinct, even though his surname has nothing to do with it!
For the bespectacled Delhi man, a late bloomer, the explosive burst at the ranges Down Under has come as a surprise. Armchair critics still feel it's no big deal to be winning medals in pair events and then add to the tally in individual events. But Samaresh has five gold and a silver so far --- has any Indian ever won like this ever before on any stage?
Barring Jaspal Rana's four-gold effort four years ago in the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in Bisle, to even dream of something like this has been unthinkable. Jaspal's tally in the SAF Games in Madras (1995) isn't in the same league.
For the portly Samaresh, his success on a stage like this has come simply because of his focus and hard work. The world raved about Jaspal's natural talent, but Samaresh's success is more through sheer hard work and countless hours at the range.
When he was seen at the Karni Singh Ranges in Tughlakabad almost a decade back as a tyro, few thought he would get so far. He did take to the 50m free pistol and air pistol easily. It suited his persona, a man who speaks little and seems to enjoy the slow pace. But he made the shift to centre-fire and then standard pistol, events that test your skills and concentration and came out with flying colours.
"I can't forget I was ejected from the centre-fire team because of Samaresh. His adaptability is amazing. I think in years to come we have a shooter who could go for an Olympic medal one day," says veteran Ashok Pandit.
Pandit lost his place because of Samaresh and his own son Ronak, and he isn't cribbing. It also is a clear signal that for a country which wakes up every four years to remember the Olympics exist, there are actually more names to think of other than RVS Rathore or Sania Mirza.
When Jaspal was winning at the Continental Games, people got carried away thinking he could do it at the Olympics too. Perhaps Samaresh will learn from Jaspal’s experiences and try not to do everything all the time. After the Asian Games this year, he could well focus on just free and air. And then, the world awaits.
First Published: Mar 23, 2006 01:46 IST