New Delhi, Jul 25 (UNI) Ace marksman Manavjit Singh today promised a 'sterling' showing to earn a medal in the Beijing Olympic Games.
''We will not return from Beijing with a drop of blood in our body for we would have spilled it in the shooting range there,'' a confident Manavjit told media persons during a send-off party for India's Beijing-bound contingent.
But he made it abundantly clear that winning a medal in Beijing would not be a stroll in the park.
''The field is going to be tough. Australians are on song, while Russia and Germany are also traditional shooting powerhouses.
Besides, the game has spread far and wide and to be honest, anybody can emerge out of the blue to post the best score on that particular day and win the medal. You can just give your best and hope it's good enough for a medal,'' he said.
Winner of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, Manavjit was of the view that sportspersons have not received the recognition which they deserved because all the adulation seems to be reserved for an ''obvious sport''(cricket).
''Just when Olympic approached, we were plucked out of practice grounds, dusted and instructed to win medal for the country. When we failed, we are asked to explain reasons and all sort of things were written about us,'' he said adding ''Fortunately, things have finally changed.'' The trap shooter exuded confidence of a much better showing this time in the Olympics.
''The nine shooters who are going to Beijing will do whatever it takes but felt they need support from countrymen even when they fail.
''You must realise that we are the best you have. If anyone was better, he would have been here in our place but that's not the case. So you have to support us to do better and support us even when we fail,''he added.
''Rajyavardhan Rathore has raised the bar for the shooters with his silver medal at Athens and it was upto others to emulate him.
He (Rathore) has set the benchmark for us and we all realised that an Olympic medal is not beyond us. Each and everyone of the contingent derived inspiration from Rathore's feat and we would put our best foot forward,'' the shooter added.
He said he is prepared well for the 'D' day.
''The idea is to pace yourself in a way that you peak at the right time. I have worked hard with my coaches to bring some changes to my technique and I'm happy with the end result,'' he said.
''To be honest, technically we all are almost at the same level and that's why small things make such a difference. I had to be in my best shape for I did not want to reach Beijing lacking anything,'' he added.
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