I enjoy fighting back: Rai

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Mar 2017 09:35:59


Mar 1,


HAVING scripted yet another come-from-behind triumph, champion shooter Jitu Rai said he “enjoys” fighting his way back from difficult situations.
The unassuming Army-man shot a total of 230.1, a world record, to finish on top of the podium, while Amanpreet, who was leading for a major part of the final, had to be satisfied with the silver after aggregating 226.9.
The 29-year-old Rai was placed sixth at the end of the first two competition series of five shots each with 93.8. At that point, Amanpreet was leading the eight-man field with 98.9.

“It’s amazing to win this gold medal, during the first combined World Cup held here in India, in front of my supporters. It’s a great honour and a true emotion to see the Indian flag atop the podium,” Rai said after the event.

“I closed the 2016 season with a World Cup Final silver, and I always dreamt about starting 2017 in the best way here in India. I wanted our flag to fly high.”
This was the 29-year-old’s second medal in two days, having bagged a bronze in 10m air pistol on Tuesday. Rai was languishing at sixth place at the end of first two series of five shots each in the final, which included a horrendous 6.6.

“I didn’t have a perfect start today, but I guess that’s the fun of the sport. I like it that way, uncertainty is part of the game, otherwise there is no excitement. I climbed into the lead shot after shot and I think it was a nice match.

“I am very happy that today also I made my way back into the top after being at the bottom. I fought till the end and I enjoy doing that. I had one or two bad shots but I told myself that I should not think about that,” he said.
The World Championship silver and Asian Games gold medallist said he was all along confident of a good result.
“There was a deficit of 0.3 with Amanpreet in the gold medal round, I was behind. So, I thought if I am able to shoot to the best of ability, I could surpass him. The aim was to be very meticulous in taking my shot. There was no pressure on me. May be it’s possible he may have felt pressure, he may have thought it’s my first World Cup final, but he is a very good shooter and he shot really well today. He maintained his lead but lost his way a bit in the later rounds,” he said.

“When I shot 6.6 I told myself I have to do better. I don’t think about the last shot, whether it’s a bad shot or god shot. Everybody has his different style of shooting. I don’t think about bad or good shots, I am not going to get anything from them. Even if I am at the bottom, the thought of losing never comes across,” Rai added.
Looking ahead, he said, “I am planning to compete in all World Cup stages this year. We have ISSF World Cup Munich ahead of us, and I will work to correct a few things before flying there. I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Silver medallist Amanpreet said the pressure got the better of him in the final stages of the event.