Rajput keen to maintain standard

Rajput keen to maintain standard

Shooter Sanjeev Rajput (left) and boxer Mary Kom during the Asian Games 2018 send-off ceremony in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

Sanjeev Rajput is an experienced campaigner. A multiple-medallist in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, the 37-year-old shooter is among the leading contenders at Jakarta-Palembang event. Rajput is keen to keep up his performance at Asiad and hopes it will serve as a good preparation for the World Championships in Changwon.

Rajput clinched his maiden CWG gold this year in the men’s 50m rifle 3-position event with a Games record. He earlier had a silver in the same event in Glasgow (2014) and a bronze in 50m rifle prone in Melbourne edition in 2006. In Asian Games, he has three medals -- a silver in 10m air rifle team event (2010), bronze medals in 50m rifle 3-position team (2006) and 10m air rifle team (2014).

“It has been a good year for me so far. Commonwealth Games gold has helped me in a lot of ways, especially financially. It has been an important year for all of us. It is tough to maintain good form in all three events, but as professionals, our job is to keep a certain level. I hope I can do well in the Asian Games also and do better than in the past years. It will serve as a good preparation for the World Championships, which is another very important event for the shooters. This time it will double up as Olympic quota event also,” Rajput, an ex-navyman, told DH.

“I have been working on small aspects with my coach. The competition in Asian Games is always tougher with all the top Asian countries like China and Japan in fray. You can’t even discount Indonesia because of their familiarity with conditions.”

Want only gold: Sardar

For years, Sardar Sigh has been the poster boy of Indian hockey. The experienced midfielder is eager to put behind the disappointment of CWG axe and is excited to work under new coach Harendra Singh.

Sardar also elaborated his new role in the team. "I have received certain instructions about my role in the midfield. We need to keep it simple. We have some outstanding forwards, who are really fast and eye contact is important,” he said.

"The aim is to feed them long passes, which is my strength, as quickly as possible. That would help the team. I have to ensure we don't easily lose the ball to opponents. I'll be absolutely disappointed if it's anything else than gold. I believe, being a senior player, I have a bigger role, to make sure the team fights together and we win the medal."


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