The veteran Indian shooter has already won a quota place for next year’s Tokyo Olympics with his 50m rifle 3 positions silver medal at the 2019 ISSF World Cup.
Indian rifle shooter Sanjeev Rajput will play the waiting game until he realises his life-long dream of winning an Olympic medal for India.
Thirty-nine-year-old Sanjeev Rajput, a former 50m rifle 3 positions world champion, is prepared to keep his personal life on hold to achieve his ultimate ambition.
“I sometimes feel I will get married only after winning an Olympic medal,” Sanjeev Rajput told the official Tokyo 2020 website.
“I do not know how the other person (wife) will turn out to be, and whether she will support me. I cannot take a chance. Therefore, I think it is best that I win a medal first and then maybe, I can think of getting married,” Rajput said.
Rajput has already secured a quota place for next year’s Olympics courtesy his silver medal at the 2019 ISSF World Cup in Rio, Brazil.
One of the 15 quota winners amongst Indian shooters, it will be Rajput’s third appearance at the Olympics Games, having represented India at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Sanjeev Rajput was also set to appear at the Rio 2016 Games but was denied at the final moment after his spot was handed to a shotgun shooter. He was left heartbroken.
“My dreams all came down crashing in that moment because even until the last day before the Olympic contingent left India, I was hoping against hope. But it was not to be,” Rajput remembers.
However, in what was a bittersweet turn of events, Sanjeev Rajput won his quota for Tokyo at the same range where he missed out on chasing his dreams during Rio 2016.
“This wasn’t a coincidence; it was all part of a plan and I had worked every detail out. I fulfilled two objectives by sealing qualification in Rio at the ISSF World Cup: the first one being the aim to prove the ‘he can’t win a medal’ club wrong,” he says.
Rajput knows that his work is only half done and coming home from Tokyo with a medal will take quite an effort, especially after the complications put forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The European shooters have started playing in competitions and (begun) full training. Due to this, there is an obvious gap in the level of game. This also means I will have to do double the work as compared to them but I am determined to do so,” Rajput vowed.