Considering their consistent medal rush at international levels, there are very high expectations from the team. Shooting tops the list of independent Olympic medals won by India. It has been the most rewarding sport for the nation.
India has clinched four Olympic medals in the mega-quadrennial games to date. As the most-awaited Tokyo Olympics is coming closer, let's have a look back at the shooters who scripted history by clinching Olympic medals.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore- Double Trap
At the 2004 Athens Olympics, 24-year-old Rathore grabbed his shotgun to pave the way for Indian shooting. He created history by clinching the first Olympic medal in shooting sport for India.
He also became the first Indian to win the silver medal at Olympics. Even in 2021, Rajyavardhan's 2004 performance inspires many. Abhinav Bindra couldn't reach the podium; however, he qualified for the finals of the 10m air rifle event in 2004.
Abhinav Bindra- 10m Air Rifle
Rajyavardhan's silver medal gave Bindra the hope to aim for his own medal. Indian shooting legend Abhinav Bindra won his elusive gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He reached a feat no Indian has reached to date.
Bindra's gold medal changed the face of shooting sports in India. The entire country rejoiced after Bindra's gold. Bindra is an inspiration for young Indian shooters who look up to him as an ideal.
Vijay Kumar- 25m Rapid fire Pistol
Vijay Kumar, with his focus and concentration, clinched the first Olympic medal in the pistol event for India. He won the silver medal in the 25m rapid-fire pistol event at the 2012 London Olympics. To date, no other Indian pistol shooter has won an Olympic medal.
With the likes of Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang, Kumar wasn't the favorite Indian shooter to win an Olympic medal at the 2012 London Olympics. However, with his terrific performance, Kumar made it to the finals and bagged the silver medal.
Gagan Narang- 10m Air Rifle
Gagan Narang was disappointed when he couldn't win an Olympic medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Albeit that didn't stop but motivated Narang to work harder for his next quest.
He achieved his Olympic dream at the next 2012 London Olympics by winning the bronze medal. Indian shooters admire Narang's determination and performance at London Olympics.
The contribution of these four led to the establishment of shooting sport in India. All of them are still contributing to the nation and shooting sport in their own ways. Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang have been providing their guidance and support to young Indian shooters.
Indian shooting team takes inspiration from these golden shooters. History will hopefully repeat for Indian shooting at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.