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'Worth the wait'- Rudrankksh Patil delivers gold on his Asian Games debut

Rudrankksh Patil waited for his multi-sporting event debut since 2022. He finally realised the dream with a gold medal in the men's team 10m air rifle event at the Asian Games in Hanzghou.

Worth the wait- Rudrankksh Patil delivers gold on his Asian Games debut

Pritish Raj

Updated: 26 Sep 2023 5:54 AM GMT

New Delhi: Indian shooters have been on a roll in the 2023 Asian Games, as the men's 10m air rifle team delivered the country the first gold medal at the quadrennial event after their women's counterparts opened India's medal tally with a bronze medal on Sunday.

Led by the 2022 World Championships gold medallist Rudrankksh Patil and featuring Divyansh Singh Panwar and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, the men's team won the gold medal in the 10m air rifle team event and smashed the world record.

Rudrankksh, the highest scorer among the trio, has waited long for this opportunity to participate in a multi-sporting event.

"It is one of my major competitions. I am very excited to play in my first multi-sports competition. I am fascinated by the idea of events like the Asian Games," Rudrankksh had told The Bridge before leaving for Hangzhou, China.

"Last year I was expecting the Youth Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games but none of it happened. So, I am very excited for the Asian Games," Rudrakksh exclaimed.

Youth Olympics were postponed due to operational issues while Commonwealth Games didn't have the sport of shooting.

But with the gold medal in his kitty, it was worth the wait for the shooter from Maharashtra.

Apart from a medal, one more thing that Rudrankksh wanted was to meet India's Olympic champion, Neeraj Chopra. "The Asian Games is a big event and I am open to experiencing the thrill of a multi-sporting event. I want to Neeraj Chopra after the matches and spend some time with him."

Calmness is an important tool in shooting

Shooting looks like a stationary sport but ask the shooters draped in shooting costumes and carrying those heavy guns, they will tell you the physical endurance needed for shooting.

"Shooting is painful on the body. You have to stand consistently and maintain your posture. In shooting, it is very important to remain calm," Rudrankksh explained.

"If someone is not calm, it will result in the shaking of the body which can impact the result in shooting, unlike other sports. With practice, my body has become more flexible," he added.

Apart from physical endurance, shooting requires a lot of mental fortitude, a small distraction can result in the loss of a crucial medal.

Talking about the mental aspect, Rudrankksh said," "We have good conversations with our psychologists and also take bio-feedback from the specialists. Shooting is like dopamine as there is a continuous process which keeps giving you the thrill while playing."

Bio-feedback is a scientific process that keeps the track of heart rate, pulse rate, and blood pressure of athletes and helps in evaluating their body during a tense situation.

Only second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to win a World Championships rifle title, Rudrankksh is focused on his process to become better every day.

"My main focus is on the process and growing as a shooter. The achievements that come along are a by-product of it, and I always look to be a better shooter in every competition," Rudrankksh signed off.

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