Gold Coast, Australia: Shooter Shreyasi Singh entered the 2010 Commonwealth Games shattered and with grief, gloom for company following the sudden demise of her father.
Her campaign was over in a jiffy as she coped with the feeling of utter helplessness, despair and disbelief.
Cut to 2018, and the 26-year-old is basking in glory, as she has just won the gold medal in women's double trap event of the 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games.
Shreyasi called it the "milestone medal of her career", made more special by the fact that shooting will not be a part of the next Commonwealth Games.
"I've got a milestone medal," an excited Singh told PTI after claiming India's 12th gold medal of the ongoing Games in the women's double trap event.
Shreyasi, daughter of former National Rifles Association President Digvijay Singh, lost him on the eve of the 2010 Games, which threw her campaign into disarray.
"This is the highest medal of my career, right up there. It is also very special because shooting is not going to be a part of the Commonwealth Games in 2022," she said.
Shooting is being dropped from roster for the 2022 Birmingham CWG due to logistical issues as the organisers have expressed inability to prepare a venue for the event.
Her medal is the fourth shooting gold in India's tally after pistol shooters Jitu Rai, Heena Sidhu and Manu Bhaker.
"It would be the one to cherish for a very long time," the 26-year-old stated.
She had won a silver medal at the 2014 Games and also has an Asian Games bronze to her credit. At the ongoing Games, she still has the trap event to compete in.
Today's top podium finish came after a shoot-off with silver-medallist Emma Cox as both the shooters ended with scores of 96 following the finals.
Asked if she felt the jitters in the shoot-off, Shreyasi said, "I was definitely nervous but at the same time confident. Does that make sense?"
"Actually I was prepared for a fight, I was not going to give up no matter what. I would have fought till whatever time it was necessary to get this medal. If you ask me what I feel right now, it is pure happiness," she said.
Shreyasi, who is inspired by 2004 Athens Games silver-medallist and current sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, said despite the close finish she was satisfied with her performance.
"My performance today was definitely very good. I am quite satisfied with how things went. It's been a great day at work," she said.
At the 2014 Games, she arrived in Glasgow with a nagging back problem but still managed to claim a silver.
By that yardstick, she had a smooth build-up to these Games, securing a silver medal in the Commonwealth Championships in November last year.
"I am just happy," said the markswoman, who is as adept at dishing out Mughlai cuisine as shooting down targets.
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Updated Date: Apr 11, 2018 16:15:11 IST