Vijay Kumar is the toast of the nation after winning India's first silver and overall 2nd medal at the London Olympics. The ace shooter, a subedar in the Indian Army, had earlier won a clutch of gold medals at successive Commonwealth Games.
However, this achievement is more remarkable since he managed to upstage the Russian World Champion Alexei Klimov in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol competition on a day when millions were expecting his more fancied teammates to fetch medals for the country in shooting.
Unfortunately Gagan Narang who has already won a bronze medal at the London Games and Ronjan Sodhi could not perform well in their respective events on Aug 3, 2012.
Vijay was born in 1985 at Harsaur in Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur district. The 26-year-old first came into the limelight when he bagged two gold medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. One was in the individual 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. In the pairs competition of the same event, Vijay combined with compatriot Pemba Tamang to finish first.
Also in 2006, he secured a bronze medal at the Doha Asian Games. In 2007, he had to again be content with bronze in the 25m Centre Fire Pistol competition at the Asian Championships.
In recognition of his sporting excellence, the government gave him the Arjuna Award that year. In 2009, Vijay lost the gold medal by just 0.1 point at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing.
A year later, he shone at the Delhi Commonwealth Games. Vijay won three gold medals and a silver in front of adoring home fans.