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Lucknow shooter makes to Indian squad

On target: Lucknow boy makes it to Indian squad for Asian Youth Games

lucknow Updated: Jun 20, 2013 12:01 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times

Young shooter from Lucknow Samarjit Singh on Wednesday made it to the 14-member Indian squad for the 2nd Asian Youth Games shooting championship scheduled to be held at Nanjing, China from August 16 to 24.

Samarjit, 15, has bagged five medals at this year's nationals in junior category.

China event, where he would be part of air pistol event along with Aligarh's Shainki Nagar, would be his third international event after Singapore Open in 2011 and Meeting of Shooting Hopes at Czech Republic last year.

During his four-hour training every day, one of country's top most promising new generation shooters Samarjit Singh devotes two hours to a holding and try session at home before practising real shooting of almost 100 rounds at the 11th Gorkha Regiment shooting range in Lucknow.

It' a routine the young boy has followed ever since his father changed his residence from Indira Nagar to Mall Avenue, which doesn't have a practice range like he had at his old house. Wednesday, therefore, was like any other day of routine practice for the prodigy shooter except it brought him a pleasant piece of news that he had been named in the 14-member Indian squad for the 2nd Asian Youth Games shooting scheduled to be held at Nanjing, China from August 16 to 24.

“I am not going to miss my mission this time,” Samarjit was quick while reacting to his selection on Wednesday evening. “I was expecting this after winning five medals at this year's nationals at New Delhi,” said Samarjit, who is now pursuing his 10th from Doon School, Dehradun.

“When I am at school, I do holding and try for all five. My dad, who is also my coach, spends Saturday and Sunday with me and helps me practise real training in Dehradun,” said Samarjit, who had won a gold medal in center fire pistol event in civilian category with a score of 561, before winning team championship bronze at last nationals. Though Samarjit accepted that he couldn't do well in his first two appearances in international events in the past, he had learned many things from these events and they would help him in future.

At the Singapore Open in 2011, Samarjit had finished 10th in air pistol open event, where as in the Meeting of Shooting Hopes at Czech Republic last year, he finished 17th in air pistol and 14th in the sports pistol.

“Both the events taught me a lot. The field had all the top guns of the world, but I tried my best to live up to the expectations,” said Samarjit, adding, “Nowdays, I am working on my techniques and hope to do well at the China event.”

Fifteen-year-old Samarjit, who happens to be a great grandson of Raja Kapoorthala, accepted that his family background played a key role in him developing a love for shooting. His father Mukuljeet Singh, who himself is a former national shooter, said that Samarjit's ultimate mission was to win a medal at the 2016 Olympics for India, but before that he would be targeting for a gold medal in the next year's World Championship. “I know what a shooter has to do to become world champion. Traveling to Dehradun every week just for few hours of training of my son isn't an easy job, but I am happy that it is helping him,” said Mukuljeet Singh.

First Published: Jun 20, 2013 11:51 IST