Indian shooter Sanjeev Rajput clinched a silver medal in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event at the 18th Asian Games on Tuesday.
The 37-year-old shot 452.7 to finish, while China’s Hui Zicheng notched up the gold medal with a score of 453.3. Japan’s Matsumoto Takayuki bagged the bronze with 441.4.
Rajput dominated the proceedings in the keeling and prone positions. However, an erratic show in the standing round put paid to his hopes of a gold. He recovered from 7.8 in the third series of the kneeling position to end in the top position with a score of 151.2.
Rajput continued his impressive run in prone, leading from start to finish after consistently shooting 10s. He had a total score of 307.1 after 30 shots. In the standing position, Rajput led after the first series with a score of 355.6 but his slide coincided with Zicheng raising the bar.
Rajput had won the gold medal at the 50m rifle 3 positions in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Here’s a brief description of Rajput’s career.
Date of Birth: January 5, 1981
Event at Asian Games: Men’s Rifle 3 position
Past performance (if any): Silver - 10m air rifle team, 2010 Guangzhou
Bronze - 50m rifle 3 positions team, 2006 Doha
Bronze - 10m air rifle team, 2014 Incheon
Best performance so far: Gold, ISSF World Cup in Changwon in 2011
Gold, Commonwealth Games in 2018
Brief Description: Rajput was born in a small town of Haryana to a street-food vendor. He went on to join the Indian Navy, where he serves as the Master Chief Petty Officer II. He started his shooting career in 2001. Three years later, Rajput clinched three golds and a silver medal in the 2004 SAF Games.
Rajput then won gold at Commonwealth Shooting Championships in Melbourne in 50m rifle 3 positions pairs event in 2005. The year 2006 saw him winning his first CWG medal in his first appearance. He later clinched a bronze at the Asian Games in the same year. Rajput has won medals of all colours at the Commonwealth Games, his gold coming at the 2018 Gold Coast games with a games record score.
The shooter was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2010. In 2016, Rajput had won India its 12th Rio Olympic quota place at the Asian Olympic qualifiers but was left out of the squad at the last minute as he had finished 0.66 points behind Gagan Narang in the qualifying system.
It was the first individual medal for the former Navy man at the Asian Games, having won team medals in the previous three editions. With a rape case going on against him, he happens to be jobless, having being sacked as assistant coach from the Sports Authority of India last year.
“I hope to get a job now. Lets see. I shot an 8.4 in the end. That cost me the gold. The competition, the weather (hot) and wind conditions were very tough,” Rajput told PTI.
Rajput shot 452.7 for the silver while the gold and bronze went to China’s Hui Zicheng and Japan’s Takayuki Matsumoto, who scored 453.3 and 441.4 respectively.