Vijay Kumar made India proud with his heroics at the London Olympics where he won a silver medal in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. He became the fourth shooter after Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang to have won an Olympic medal. Though a lot has changed for good for the Himachal shooter after his Olympic triumph, Vijay Kumar is candid to admit that these celebration won’t last long and soon the adoring fans will forget the Olympic heroes and get focussed on nation’s favourite sport—cricket.
“The most important change is that I am getting so much attention these days. Everyone wants to celebrate my success and wants to talk to me, but I know that this will not last, it is only for 10-15 days and then everything will go back to where it was. I will start my training and people will forget me, they will only care about cricket and the next IPL then”, said Vijay.
However ecstatic about his achievement, Vijay said, “I am very happy, I just can’t explain what I am feeling right now. It is a dream of every sportsperson to do well at the Olympics. It is a biggest stage and to win a silver medal there is a huge thing. I am really happy with my performance.”
Vijay Kumar was not in the limelight when the Indian contingent left for the Olympics, but Vijay himself was very confident about his chances, he said, “I have been in the game from 2003 and I was pretty confident that I will do well. Realistically speaking, my main target was to reach the finals. When I reached the finals I was competing with five other men, than I thought that if I shoot well I can make the top three and I did that. When I was in the top three, I thought that I can beat the Chinese to get up to number two and I did that as well.”
There has been an on-going dispute between him and the Indian Army, recently Vijay was promoted to Subedar Major, though he is not very happy with it, “I won’t say that I am delighted with the promotion, my promotion was pending. It is still not a commissioned rank or an officer rank and I think I deserve it because winning a silver medal at the Olympics is a big thing. Indian Army has told me that in the coming 5-6 months they will promote me, let’s see what happens.”
But Vijay said that he is not unhappy with the Indian army, he said, “I won’t say that I am unhappy, I am here because of the support that I have got from the Army. But I am not asking what I don’t deserve. If Indian army can give esteemed positions to some other players, why can’t they do that to one of their own.”
The event in which Vijay won the medal is considered to be one of the most difficult events in shooting, Vijay on that said, “Yes, 25m Rapid Fire Pistol is very difficult as one has to shoot five shots in four seconds, but when I started with this I felt confident and that is what matters. No one else in my family was into shooting but when I started it I knew that this is what I want to do in future.”
Vijay believes that the government and the shooting federation has played a major role in where he is now. “The support has been very good from both the government and the federation and I want to thank them for their support. Shooting is an expensive sport and one does need a lot of support. More corporate houses are coming into shooting and things are changing for the good.”
By Indian Sports News Network