New Delhi: India's ace rifle shooter Sanjeev Rajput may have brought laurels to the country in various international tournaments but he is still awaiting a job the Haryana government had promised him when his tenure in Indian Navy came to an end in 2014.
Sanjeev Rajput. Pic/ AFP
The 35-year-old Rajput, who hails from Jagadhri in Haryana, joined Indian Navy at the age of 18, among other achievements globally, clinched the gold medal at the ISSF World Cup in Changwon, China in 2011.
"After I left Navy in 2014 I was assured of a job post of inspector- in Haryana police. I was given the appointment letter, went to join them but things never worked out after that. They said a stay order was issued after the change in government. I followed it many times," said Rajput, who was hoping to be given the post of DSP considering his exploits.
Faced with a do-or-die situation, two-time Olympian Rajput battled the odds to secure India's 12 quota from shooting for the upcoming Rio Games by finishing fourth in men's 50m rifle 3 positions at the Asian Olympic Qualifying Competition here yesterday.
"The pressure was there from all quarters and this was the last day of the competition. Considering that the barrel broke three days ago and I had to struggle through 2015 due to a dip in form, I think today was satisfactory outing," Rajput, who has been offered the role of a coach by Sports Authority of India (SAI) at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, said after his event.
Overcoming a broken barrel barely three days ago and a struggling 2015, Sanjeev shot 429.5 after an impressive comeback in pone in the eight-man finals at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range to earn the country another Games berth. "I have had a tough 2015 where I had to change my shooting jacket and gun three times which affected my performances. Also, the fact that after I left the Navy in 2014 it took me a while to adjust to the change in lifestyle.
This was a do or die situation for me," Sanjeev, who has been sponsored by Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) for the past four years, said. The Asian champion added, "For this competition I had trained hard but the barrel extension of my gun started giving me problems in the last three days and I could not change it at this stage. This is why I was being inconsistent in the finals as I was finding it difficult to adjust otherwise I could have shot even better."