Beijing, Aug 12 (UNI) It was a heart rending scene when an emotional Lt Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said he was not certain about his 'future'.
Only four years ago, Rathore became the toast of the nation when he became the first Indian to win an individual individual Olympic silver medal at Athens but today he failed to qualify for the final of the double trap event here. The shooter, while desperately trying to hold back his tears, said he was not sure if he would ever compete again.
Totally shaken by his failure, the trembling Indian Army officer said he needed to give it a serious thought whether he would return to compete in shooting ranges again.
''I need to take a few days off and spend time with my family. I love being part of sports and I guess it's difficult to stay away. I really cannot bid goodbye to shooting. But I seriously need time to think whether I would compete ever,'' he told mediapersons after his failure.
Rathore was unable to control his emotions and abruptly left for the change room in an attempt to conceal his tears.
He, however, came back after some time and continued in the same vein saying,''You have to see the whole thing as a four-year journey.
It was not easy to continue after Athens, for I had some personal issues. But I thank my coaches who stood by me and made me believe I could continue.'' He, however, did not disclose those ''personal issues''. On today's performance, Rathore said he shot well but had troubles in reading targets.
''Last 10 days we were trying to read the targets and I had some difficulty today. That also explains the relative low scores in the field today,'' he said.
''When we shoot the first shot, the bird is not actually there, we only expect it there. It's anticipation and much like a catch in cricket where you stretch your arm to intercept the ball. Little hesitation and you are doomed.
''I had trouble reading the first target and it affected my anticipation as well,'' he explained.
''I'm upset that I could not hold on to my scores. I did not shoot very high this year but that should have been enough to qualify for the finals here. At the end, I have not been able to achieve what we came here for,'' Rathore added.
However, despite his personal loss, Rathore has one huge satisfaction.
''At least this time, we are returning with the gold,'' he said, referring to Abhinav Bindra's historic victory yesterday.
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