Joydeep Karmakar is a member of Indian shooting team and is also a World Cup silver medallist in 50m Rifle Prone. He talks to Gaurav Jha of Indian Sports News about the Olympics quota place that was given to him, how he is preparing for the event and much more: EXCERPTS
ISN: First of all, tell us how you felt when you were awarded the quota place?
Karmakar: I was extremely happy. I have been working so hard for this and I am very happy that I got the result that I always desired. I was working from the past so many years to represent my country in the biggest sporting event in the world and now as I have got the chance, I will give it my best shot.
ISN: There is a huge expectation from our shooting team, what can we expect from you all?
Karmakar: I know that everyone is expecting us shooters to do well and I feel very happy about it. Shooters have done well in the last two Olympics and I can guarantee you that every shooter who is going to London will try his/her best to win a medal. Things are looking good and we have got a decent number of quotas. According to me the shooting team can win 2-3 medals.
ISN: You were given the quota place which was won by Hari Om Singh. What do you have to say about that?
Karmakar: I am very happy that the NRAI decided on my name. I know that if the same thing happened with me, I will feel bad. Trading a quota place might be new in India, but it’s quite common elsewhere. All the teams send their best players irrespective of who won the quota place. I have also been waiting for this moment from the last eight years. I have been training hard and I will put my best foot forward for the Olympics.
ISN: How is your preparation going into the tournament?
Karmakar: I am training very hard. Shooting is the only game between men and ammunition. With shooting, it does not matter much how hard you prepare because at the end of the day it is that very moment that will decide everything. People have lost with the minutest margin in the past.
ISN: London Olympics is less than four months away. Are you nervous?
Karmakar: I am more excited than nervous. I have waited a long time for this and I am really looking forward to participating in the mega event. Next month I am going to participate in the shooting world cup and that gives me the opportunity to perform at the world level right before the Olympics.
ISN: Who according to you has the best chance of winning the medal in the shooting team?
Karmakar: I hope it’s me. But, I think Abhinav Bindra can repeat his feat from the last Olympics. He knows the art of peaking at the right time and that is what will separate the champions from the rest of the participants.
Photo by Dharamveer Diwakar