Mumbai: On a comeback trail after a long hiatus due to an injury leading to poor form, two-time Commonwealth Games champion pistol shooter Rahi Sarnobat is targeting a podium finish at the Asian Games commencing later this month.
“The Asian Games are to commence in just 15 days and later there are the World Championships (in Korea). Even if they (the Asian Games) are challenging for me, my preparation is very good,” 27-year-old Rahi, who hails from Kolhapur, told PTI.
“Yes definitely, there is no doubt about it,” Rahi quipped on being asked if she was targeting a podium finish in the Games commencing on August 18 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang, where shooting competitions are to be held.
Rahi’s stars were in ascendancy after she clinched back-to-back gold at the 2010 Delhi and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 25 metre pistol event. But fate willed otherwise as the markswoman, who trains in Pune, was forced to take a nearly year-long break from the range due to an elbow injury and her form dipped subsequently.
“The competition (at the Games) is tough, but I think now the Indian women are very ready for that, because in the last Asian Games (in 2014 in Incheon), I was in the final and we bagged a team bronze in 25 metre. The entire Indian team is hopeful of a good performance and even I am ready for that,” she remarked. Rahi conceded that after the injury-forced break in 2016 last year was a mixed bag for her.
“These Games are very important (for me). In 2016, I did not shoot the entire year, as I took a break owing to an injury. From December 2016/January 2017, I again started playing in competitions. I had a mixed 2017, at the international events and I could not give a high-level performance. “In 2018, two (shooting) World Cups happened and in one of them I stood fourth and in the other I had an average performance,” she pointed out.
According to Rahi, after the Games the shooters will directly proceed to the World Championships, which she felt were as “important and tough” as the Olympics, as they take place once in four years.