Sanjeev Rajput secured his Olympics quota by winning a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
Veteran Indian rifle shooter Sanjeev Rajput has resorted to dry practice and yoga in self-isolation keeping an eye on retaining his sharpness ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
In dry practice, a shooter tends to fire a fireman, an object hung on a wall, but without any ammunition. This serves the purpose of preserving ammunition as well as honing one’s skill.
“We must remain indoors for the next three weeks or till the time the situation improves. But I am doing dry practice (or dry firing) at home besides yoga and meditation,” Sanjeev Rajput told the Press Trust of India.
With a massive upsurge in coronavirus cases inducing a lockdown throughout the world, athletes preparing for the Olympics have suffered a huge blow as they must recalibrate their plans.
Sanjeev Rajput, who secured his Tokyo Olympics quota by winning a silver medal in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event at the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, has already come to terms with the fact.
“I have been preparing for the Olympic Games for more than three years, hoping to go there and perform at the biggest stage. But we simply don’t have any choice now but to postpone the Olympics. I support the decision, we know it is for our well-being,” Sanjeev Rajput said.
The 39-year-old rifle shooter from Haryana has qualified for four Olympics on the trot now, representing India in three of them. His quota at the 2016 Olympics was given to a shotgun shooter.
However, Sanjeev Rajput made a comeback with a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2018 thereby increasing his chances of a place at the Olympics this time.
With Tokyo 2020 now postponed, Sanjeev Rajput will now have to upgrade his rifle and get acquainted with the new one as soon as the lockdown gets lifted. His current equipment was chosen keeping in mind the originally-scheduled dates of the Tokyo Olympics (July-August).
"I will upgrade my equipment now. The jacket and trousers I use now and which I was going to use in Tokyo later this year, are good enough to last me only 5-6 months.
“Also, I have a back-up rifle which I will start using once the range opens. Using a fresh barrel means I need to get used to it in time for the Olympics next year," Sanjeev Rajput told The Week.
“I had gone to Birmingham in February and chosen my ammunition for the Olympics. I doubt that can wait till next year," he added.