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Rio Olympics 2016: Analysing Chain Singh's chances of a medal at Rio

Can Army-man Chain Singh go on to make an impressive debut at the Games?

Chain Singh has a good chance in Rio but will need to be consistent

Indian shooter Chain Singh qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics when he scored 1174 points out of 1200 in the 50m rifle 3 positions events at the ISSF World Cup in Gabala in 2015. The 27-year old had become the seventh Indian shooter to make it to the Games.

Chain Singh hails from the mountainous regions of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2007, at the age of 18, he was inducted into the Indian Army. The athlete was never into shooting in his youth but discovered his hidden talent when he used to practice shooting in the Army.

The teenager started practicing shooting more and more as he entered his 20s, having spent his time in the cantonment areas of the Army. By the time he had attained the rank of a Subedar, he had discovered that shooting was his forte.

Also read: Know your Indian Olympian: Chain Singh

Singh was then shifted to the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) in Indore, Madhya Pradesh where he trained under the guidance of world-class coaches. His coaches saw Singh’s determination to succeed as an advantage he had over his competitors.

Determined to be the best

Singh’s hard work and determination paid off when he first participated for India at the 2009 Asian Championships in Doha where he won the bronze medal in the Junior 10m air rifle event. The shooter graduated to the senior shooting competitions and won his first major medal with a gold medal victory in the 10m air rifle at the 2014 Asian Championships held in Kuwait City with a final score of 206 points.

The same year, Singh won a bronze medal in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions event at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. This was the beginning of his international journey. The Indian has been participating in various international events ever since.

The joy of qualifying for Rio led to Singh winning six gold medals at the 2016 Guwahati South Asian Games. He won medals in six different categories – 10m air rifle individual, 10m air rifle team, 50m rifle prone individual, 50m rifle 3 positions individual, 50m rifle three positions team and 50m air rifle prone team.

The 27-year Indian shooter (extreme right) will be looking to beat the Chinese competition

At the Rio Olympics, the shooter will be participating in two events. He has qualified for the 50m rifle 3 positions and 50m rifle prone events. But the competition will be tough for the 27-year old. He will be accompanied by fellow countryman Gagan Narang in both the events. Singh has looked comfortable in competing with the best as he has often surpassed the likes of Narang and Abhinav Bindra in the rankings at the ISSF events.

But his journey towards the podium in the 50m air rifle 3 positions in Rio will be hindered by the likes of China’s Qinan Zhu and Zicheng Hui. Also in the frame are United States’ Matthew Emmons, Kazakhstan’s Yuriy Yurkov and Croatia’s Petar Gorsa. The advantage Singh can have in this event is that the other competitors have not been consistent enough ahead of the Olympics. 

Whereas, in the 50m rifle prone event, there is tough competition for the Indian. The Experienced number one ranked Danish shooter, Torben Grimmel, has been in fine form ahead of the Rio Olympics as he has twice won the gold medal at major events in 2016. Australian Warren Potent and Italy’s experienced Niccolo Campriani may also give tough competition to Singh.

It will be Chain Singh’s first Olympic Games at the age of 27 and the shooter will be looking to create history for his nation, but his form has to be consistent enough for him to stand a chance at winning any medal.

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