Rio Olympics 2016: Indian shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu says his experience can help him peak at the right time
The former World Number one will be looking for his first Olympic triumph having won a plethora of medals in the sport.
Manavjit Singh Sandhu is one of the most decorated shooters from India. The trap shooter has been ranked world number one in trap shooting in 2006. In a recent interview he gave to PTI, Manavjit has said that he “is experienced enough to peak at the right time”.
The 40-year old shooter has won a total of 10 gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze medals in major competitions throughout the world. But the Olympic medal is the one which still eludes him going into his fourth Olympic Games. But Sandhu is confident that his experience can stand him in good stead when he takes to the shotgun range in Rio. Sandhu told PTI, "Being my fourth Games, I feel I am experienced enough to prepare well and be able to peak at the right time. I am in good form and feel I am well prepared.”
Sandhu’s achievements in major tournaments has led to the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) President, Raninder Singh expressing that the expectations from the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee are "sky high". Raninder said, "Manav is one of the best trap shooters in the world and it is a surprise that he does not have an Olympic medal already, having won all there is to win in shooting including the crown that shooters most seek - the World Championship gold.”
He added, "Our expectations from him at Rio are sky-high and his experience should be an asset at a penultimate event such as the Olympics." After having a career that has spanned 21 years at the top level, Sandhu says he is not under any pressure. "Pressure is part and parcel of the Games and the responsibility of being a member of the Indian shooting squad adds a degree of motivation," Manavjit said.
Manavjit also credited his past victories over rivals Michael Diamond and Erik Varga for his oozing confidence. He said, "For sure, victories are very important as the experience of winning is extremely helpful. Having shot high scores in the past is beneficial in maintaining confidence which will be required.”
The 40-year old is also confident that the Indian shooters can bag more than two medals and better their tally of the London Olympics, saying "Yes, very much on the cards. We can do it.” The experienced shooter also said that he has shot in windy conditions before, therefore he is prepared for Rio where such conditions are expected.
It is a good sign for the Indian fans that their most experienced and decorated shooter is high on confidence going into th Games.