Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI: Among the eight shooters he was once at the eighth position. But Hriday Hazarika, the young shooter from Assam, held his nerve and walked away with a silver medal in the 10m Air Rifle shooting in U-21 category of 3rd Khelo India Games here today. Rushiraj (249.4) bagged gold in this category while Hriday Hazarika (247.5) and T Shahu (227.2) finished second and third respectively.
The match witnessed one of the best competitions in the shooting event which got under way at the Kahilipara Shooting Range today. Hriday although made shaky start but recovered well once the competition progressed.
The third place was decided via tie break as both Hriday and Shahu was at same score. At the decider the first shot failed to break the tie break as both scored same point (10.2). In the second shot Hriday scored 10.3 and Shahu 10.2 which made the difference between the two shooters.
In the gold medal decider Rushiraj, who was 228.3 and Hriday at 227.2, fired two shots each. Rushiraj managed to hold his position which also ensured gold medal for him.
Talking to The Sentinel after the competition Hriday said that he never felt nervous during the meet and targeted to give good fight even he didn’t able to make podium finish. “Tension never gripped me during the competition. I played with one aim and it was if I lost it wouldn’t be a problem but I would fight till the competition is not over for me,” said the young shooter who already pocketed medal from the World shooting championship.
His current coach Suma Shirur, who is former Olympian in 10m air Rifle and Commonwealth Games gold medalist, was present at the shooting range when Hriday was contesting in the meet. Talking to The Sentinel after the competition Suma, currently working as high performance coach for Junior India shooting team (Rifle), said: “Hriday is a very good fighter and he proved it again here. An athlete always feels pressure when he competes in his home soil. I think Hriday too felt it today but the boy fought brilliantly and made good comeback to win silver here.”