Winning a gold and bronze medal in the men's 10m Air Rifle competition at the Asian Games on Monday was not good enough for India's Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar. After helping the Indian team including Divyansh Panwar and Rudranksh Patil in the 10m Air Rifle Team competition with a world record score, Tomar went on to win bronze in the Individual event, overcoming teammate Rudrankksh Patil in a shootout. The 22-year-old from Madhya Pradesh was disappointed not to win a gold medal in the individual competition. Indian Men's 10m Air Rifle Team Claims Gold Medal With World Record Score, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar Secures Individual Bronze at Asian Games 2023.
"I am a little disappointed that I didn't win a gold medal (in the individual event), but I am really happy that I won a team gold medal with the world record, said Tomar after the final.
"The Chinese shooter shot incredibly well today. I tried my best and faced a tough fight from the Korean shooter and Rudransh (Patil)," said Tomar, who was very consistent on Monday, scoring in 10+ range except on the 22nd turn when he had a 9.8 and lost out to Korean Park Hajun, who shot 10.4 to get into silver medal position. The youngster from Khargone, however, said it was still a good start for him as this is his first Asian Games and he still has to participate in the men's 50m Rifle 3-positions event which will be held a few days from now.
"Winning two medals on the opening day is always a morale booster. I will now go into the 50m Rifle 3-position event with a lot more confidence. I hope to do well in that event too," said Tomar.
He said playing a shoot-off with teammate Rudransh Patil did not affect him much as he considers such things as part and parcel of the competition.
"Normally, I would like to avoid shoot-offs altogether but having one with a teammate more so but then it is part and parcel of competitive sport,' said said.
About his teammates in the 10m air rifle event, Tomar said both Divyansh Panwar and Rudrankksh Patil are perfect athletes.
"They are extremely good players of India. In the 10m event, they are both perfect athletes. Playing with them is huge, it's really good."
Now that the men's 10m Air Rifle event is over, Tomar will have a couple of day's rest before he goes into 50m Rifle 3-position competitions -- team and individual. He said celebrations will have to wait for him till the end of the 50m event.
"I still have one more event, so the celebrations will have to wait. But I will have a big celebration with my family after going back home," said Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, who took to shooting at a young age by watching his father shoot targets in their fields in Khargon. Rudrankksh Patil, Aishwary Pratap Tomar and Divyansh Panwar Sing National Anthem As Indian Flag Is Raised After Their Gold Medal Win in Asian Games 2023 (Watch Video).
He started with toy guns and soon graduated to real equipment. "We are Rajputs, so we keep weapons in our house. Moreover, my father is a farmer so he used to keep guns. From a very young age, I used to go to the fields and try shooting targets," Tomar once said in an interview about how he took to shooting as a sport. After the Asian Games, Tomar will turn his attention towards qualifying for the Paris Olympic Games in which his teammate Rudranksh Patil has already bagged a quota place for the country.
"I aim always is not to participate in the Olympics and to win a medal. That has been my dream from the start and hope to one day achieve it," said Tomar.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 25, 2023 03:31 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).