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After CWG low, Olympic medallist Vijay Kumar eyes Asiad high

New Delhi: London Olympics silver medallist Vijay Kumar, undergoing treatment for a neck injury, is desperate to avoid a race against time ahead of the World Championships and Asiad, stage where he would look to make amends for his shocking exit at Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Vijay Kumar

"I am rushing off to see a doctor now. I have muscle break on my neck and that is causing some problems. I am hoping to be fit for the World Championships. Let's see how it goes," Vijay told PTI after a training session here today. Vijay, who will turn 29 on August 19, has been battling a recurring shoulder injury. For him, the routine now goes like competition, rehabilitation followed by competition again.

The outing at Glasgow was an unremarkable one, but that is history now, and the army shooter is eagerly looking forward to future tournaments. "I am trying to be fit for the upcoming tournaments and I will give my level best to win a medal for the country," the unassuming shooter, posted at the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) in Mhow since 2003, said. In Asian Games, Vijay will be part of the centre fire pistol team alongside Pemba Tamang and Gurpreet Singh.

Vijay had failed to qualify for the finals of rapid fire pistol at the just-concluded Glasgow CWG after finishing seventh in the qualifying. Vijay, who had won a silver in his pet event -- 25-metre rapid fire pistol in 2012 Olympics -- had sustained a shoulder injury couple of months prior to the multi-sport extravaganza in London two years ago. Just before the 2012 Olympic Games, he recovered, even though just momentarily, before it returned to make life difficult for him. 

The dip in his performance in recent times can be attributed to the injury. Owing to poor last six scores, Vijay missed out on a berth in his pet event for the upcoming Asian Games, scheduled to be held in Incheon, South Korea from September 19. Prior to that, the World Championships will be held in Granada, Spain from September 6. For a sportsperson who has brought so many laurels to the country, being plagued by a recurring injury at the height of his prowess, can be nothing but frustrating.

Vijay, though, has taken it in his stride. "It's part and parcel of an athlete's life and we have to live with it. "What is important is that we continue to train hard and strive to be in perfect shape during competitions," he said at the Karni Singh Shooting Ranges, where he bagged three gold and a silver medal when the Capital hosted the Commonwealth Games four years back. In the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Vijay clinched two gold medals.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee had won a silver each in men's shooting 25m rapid fire pistol event in 2009 ISSF World Cup in Beijing and 2011 World Cup in Fort Benning, USA. In the Asian Games, the shooter from Hampirpur district in Himachal Pradesh did the country proud by winning a bronze in 2006 before repeating the feat four years later in Guangzhou.

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