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quinta-feira, 12 de janeiro de 2017

Olympic debacle has put fear in my mind, says Jitu Rai

By Anmol Gurung  |  Express News Service  |   Published: 12th January 2017

Shooter Jitu Rai (File|AFP)

CHENNAI: When Jitu Rai was winning medals at will, the pistol ace seemed like a superhuman. With zen-like focus, the unassuming Armyman had shot down many firsts for India in the process. 
A lot of followers would bask in amazement as the 29-year-old plucked one medal after another, making it look like a child’s play. During the build-up to the Rio Olympics, Jitu’s name would be one of the first to pop up while discussing India’s biggest medal prospects. 
Unfortunately, Jitu’s journey in Rio turned out to be an anticlimax.
It was a harsh lesson for the Nepal-born shooter, who had crossed the border in search of better life and picked up the sport by chance. The usually calm nerves betrayed him then and he was unable to deliver when it mattered the most. All those hours of hard work and past performances counted for nothing. 
Looking ahead, he has a cautious approach. He seems more human but his dedication to the sport remains undiminished. 
“I have fears in my mind too. There was a lot of questioning post the Olympics. The Rio debacle is dead and buried but it is a strong reminder that things can go wrong,” he told Express.
“I’m not sure what will happen in future. Just mulling over the matter won’t take me far,” added the diminutive shooter.
After that heartbreaking tale, he was seen in action during the National Championships in December, last year. The Rio aftershock was evident as he failed to live up to his standards. “I have had ups and downs in recent times. My performance in the National Championships in December) was not up to the mark. I have to buckle up,” he conceded. Jitu will be in action during the selection trials in the next few days in Pune. The trials are being held for the upcoming ISSF World Cup to be held in New Delhi.
“We will be hosting the World Cup for the first time so I really want to give my best. Many fans will turn up with big expectations and the media will also be keeping close tabs on us. A lot of focus will be on us.
“When you are competing outside, there is no pressure. You are on your own.”
Things could get worse for Jitu if the recent ISSF Athletes Committee recommendations are approved. The panel has sent a proposal to scrap 50m pistol — Jitu’s pet event. “I have written to the ISSF to give a rethink on the matter. I hope they don’t scrap the same.”
Ask him about his New Year’s resolution, and he says, it is about becoming a wiser shooter. “One thing I’m really keen on is winning the World Championship. I also want to do  well in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. I know I have the skills to achieve the same but I need to work really hard,” he signed off.

Posted by Thom Erik Syrdahl
Source - http://www.newindianexpress.com/
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