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Asiad gold medalist Jitu Rai retires from Army, to groom young shooters

Asian Games gold medalist Jitu Rai has retired from Indian Army and plans to groom young shooters via a shooting academy.

Asiad gold medalist Jitu Rai retires from Army, to groom young shooters

Indian shooter Jitu Rai. (FILE Photo)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 6 July 2024 3:03 PM GMT

Asian Games gold medalist shooter Jitu Rai has decided to retire from the Indian Army and will focus on training young shooters to achieve success on the global stage.

Khel Ratna and Padma Shri awardee Jitu had a big rise in the Indian sporting landscape as he made history by winning the gold medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

This remarkable feat propelled him to the rank of Honorary Captain in the Army.

Rai, who spent the majority of his 17-and-a-half-year career with the 11 Gorkha Regiment based in Lucknow, took to social media to announce his retirement from the Army.

"I am Hony Capt. Jitu Rai, SM,VSM, Olympian shooter, Padma Shree Awardee Dhayan Chan Khel Ratna Awardee and Arjun awardee. Would like to inform all that my journey of 17 years and 6 months in the Indian Army was completed on 1st July 2024. The Army has given me more than what I deserve. I took this opportunity to thank all my senior officers, coaches, officials, colleagues, and juniors who have helped me in every walk of life," Rai wrote on Facebook.

"I have always played for the nation and Army and I will continue to do the same through my experience sharing and coaching to the upcoming shooters. I will always carry discipline, dedication, and faithfulness towards my nation taught by the Army throughout my career," Rai added.

Plans to train young shooters at his shooting academy

After retirement, Jitu plans to establish a training facility in the coming years.

"I have taken retirement from the Army to make a foray into coaching. I will try to compete as much as I can but will also like to share my experiences with the younger generation," Rai told PTI from Bagdogra in West Bengal.

"I plan to open a shooting academy though I have not decided on the location. It would be wrong on my part if I didn't share my shooting experiences. If I get the opportunity to be a part of the national coaching staff that would be great," he added.

Rai has achieved numerous accolades throughout his career. In addition to securing the gold medal in the 50m pistol event and a bronze in the 10m air pistol competition at the Asian Games in Incheon, Rai has also showcased his prowess on other international stages.

The skilled marksman clinched gold medals at the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow in 2014 and Gold Coast in 2018.

Furthermore, Rai's exceptional performances extend to the World Championships, where he earned a silver medal in Granada in 2014.

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