Ace shooter who has been in top form has already been promoted by the Army twice in the last one year
New Delhi: ‘Pistol King’ Jitu Rai, who is employed with the Indian army, says he feels “shameful” about asking for promotion in his rank after winning gold in Commonwealth and Asian Games. Jitu has been in the form of his life, bagging two gold in three months in two multi-sporting events, but he flatly refused to talk about promotion.
Jitu Rai on the podium after winning gold in the 50m pistol event at the Asian Games. PIC/Getty Images
“I have been given two out of turn promotions last year and I am grateful to the Indian Army for that. If you ask me, I will say it will be shameful of me if I ask for promotion though I have won back-to-back gold,” Jitu said on the sidelines of a felicitation function here yesterday.
Jitu, now a naib-subedar at the 11th Gurkha Regiment, was given promotion last year after winning a silver in the National Championships and a bronze in Asian Championships in Iran.
Happy with facilities
“But for the Army, I would not have reached this stage. The journey has been amazing till now but it has happened due to the Indian Army. I have been given every facility by the Army and there has been no complaint from my side,” said the 27-year-old Jitu who won gold in 50m pistol event in Incheon. “From the paddy fields in Nepal upto here, I have come a long way. I have never imagined that I will achieved this much and I am indebted to the Army for my achievement.”
Understandably, Jitu said his Incheon Asian Games gold medal was more satisfying than the Glasgow CWG win, also in 50m pistol. “In Glasgow Commonwealth Games, I was a bit relaxed and took a bit easy. But, I had worked meticulously and I gave a lot of effort while going into the Incheon Games. So, it was more satisfying,” he said.
Despite winning gold in 50m air pistol event in both Glasgow and Incheon, Jitu said that 10m air pistol was his favourite event.
“I have been doing well in both but if I have to choose, I will go for 10m air pistol. This event has given me a lot of success in the last few years,” he said. This year, Jitu won a silver and a gold in ISSF World Cup in Munich and Maribor respectively in 10m air pistol. He also won a bronze in 10m air pistol team event in Incheon. He also clinched a silver in the World Championships in Granada, Spain.
Olympic gold medallist and Asian Games double-bronze medal winning shooter Abhinav Bindra yesterday said that he is not thinking too far ahead and will decide next year about his future course of action for the 2016 Rio Olympics qualifiers.
“I will think about it next year. At this moment I don’t have any plans. Let’s see how it goes. I don’t believe in planning much for the future,” Bindra said on the sidelines of a programme organised by Samsung to felicitate the 17th Asian Games medal winners, here. Bindra, 32, had earlier announced his retirement from professional shooting.
“Tomorrow will mark the end of my professional shooting life! I will however still shoot, compete as a hobby shooter training twice a week,” he had tweeted September 22, a day prior to his participation in the Incheon Asiad. But he later clarified he is still set on the Rio Olympics.