How Tokyo-bound skeet shooter Mairaj Khan stays in shape at 45

Khan gave insights on his fitness regimen and diet as he seeks to perform at an optimum level in Tokyo

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Pioneer Indian skeet shooter Mairaj Ahmad Khan, at the age of 45, is leading by example as far as fitness is concerned.

Khan made the country proud by becoming the first Indian to book an Olympics quota in skeet shooting, back in September 2015, which assured him a place in Rio 2016. He also went on to bag a silver medal, in 2016, at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup held in April in Rio de Janeiro. The feat also made him the first and lone Indian to have held a World Cup medal and the Olympic quota at the same time.

Khan is set to represent India in Tokyo 2020 as well after booking a place with his performance at the Asian Championship at Doha in November 2019. He qualified along with compatriot Angad Bajwa after a 1-2 finish in the Men's skeet. Bajwa won gold while Khan grabbed the silver

Khan has been training at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range for the marquee event and gave insights on his fitness regimen and diet as he seeks to perform at an optimum level.

Well a normal day for me starts with a bit of stretching, foam rolling, etc then a healthy concoction of Turmeric Latte organically made in-house. It keeps me going strong the whole day. Then I get ready, take breakfast and leave for my training. The gym session happens only in the evening at 5 pm. Mairaj Khan to Olympic Channel.

At 45, he is very particular about his diet and believes it is an important aspect for any athlete to perform at his best. Khan begins his day with a healthy breakfast and asserts the importance of having the right mix of nutrition in your diet.

"A diet is an important aspect for an athlete, be it a skeet shooter or anybody else. For me, I start with a healthy breakfast, a full proper healthy lunch consisting of protein, carbs & fiber. Dinner is generally light with salad, soup, grilled fish, or chicken every alternative day," Khan revealed.

Khan is hoping to improve on his performance at Rio 2016 this time around. He shot 121 out of 125 at Rio but could not qualify for the final. He was tied with five other shooters on the same score for the final two berths in the final. But Khan went on to lose the shoot-off.

Skeet shooting in India is not exactly a very popular discipline and is still picking up when it comes to interest. Khan and Bajwa remain the only skeet shooters who will represent India in Tokyo. 

Khan wants to change the outlook on skeet shooting and plans to start his own shooting foundation in a bid to nurture the next generation. 

He feels that shooting is a costly sport and wants to make it accessible for aspiring kids. 

“Well I am surely coming up with a shooting sport foundation wherein I would like to nurture the upcoming Indian talent in this particular sport. My foundation will be a one stop shop for all the shooting sport lovers. 

“As you might be aware this is an expensive and sensitive sport and we need better understanding, guidance and approach towards it which is missing (right now). Therefore, the thought of starting a foundation of my own. As of now, the present global situation does not permit us to take any liberty towards new projects. So, I’m waiting for the right time to introduce it.”