Shooter Vijay Kumar says he'll stay in Army only if promoted

After returning home to a rousing welcome following his victory in the London Olympics, shooter Vijay Kumar said he would stay in the Indian Army only if he was promoted and received a position that matched the offer made by the Sports Ministry.

"I had done the country proud by winning at major events in 2006, Delhi 2010 (CWG) and London 2012 and was expecting promotion and decorations. As sportspersons we also have expectations," Kumar said.

"I had joined the army after which I took up shooting and now this sport is my focus. I will make my plans for my life accordingly," he told Times Now.

"I want to be able to think about my future. There are many offers coming in," he said.

Vijay Kumar said he had not received any promotions for his previous good performances. Reuters

Pointing out that the Sports Minister had already said that he could be given a job in the Sports Authority of India after his victory, Kumar said,"I hope Army will offer me a job of the same level then I will stay in it."

The Army Sports Control Board has informed the sports ministry that Kumar can get two out-of-turn promotions as a junior commissioned officer (JCO) and be made a subedar major. But these promotions were due to the shooter before winning the silver medal.

Sports Minister Ajay Maken in a letter asked the defence ministry to bring changes in its rules to bring military promotions for outstanding sportspersons at par with civilian promotion scales.

The shooter said that he had always given a good performance in all events and deserved to be promoted and decorated accordingly. "In 2010 despite my best performance I never got any promotion but I remained focus and worked hard for the Olympics," he said.

A large number of army personnel turned up at the Delhi airport and even the shooter was touched by the scale of celebrations over his victory.

"It is a really fantastic reception and I am really touched by it. This is the first time I am getting such a welcome," Kumar said on his arrival in Delhi.

When asked about his future plans he said, "After a brief break I will start preparing for the 2016 Olympics."

With inputs from PTI