Road to Rio: Determined Gurpreet Singh could make a mark at 2016 Olympics
Gurpreet who missed out on the 2012 Olympics will now be keen to make a mark at the Rio Olympics and plot yet another rise in his shooting career that has seen many ups and downs.
Name: Gurpreet Singh
Discipline (sport): Shooting
Category: 10m air pistol, 25m rapid fire pistol
Qualification: Gurpreet was the final Indian shooter to qualify for the Rio Olympics after finishing fourth in the 10m Air Pistol category, with a score of 154.8 points at the ISSF World Cup rifle/pistol event in Munich.
Strengths: Rigorous training in Slovenia has helped Gurpreet iron out his technical faults and has built a great level of focus that has served him well in recent events. His hunger to qualify for Rio earned him a ticket to the Games a year in advance. That fire in his belly could take him a long way in Rio.
Past Olympic performance: Debut
Past record (best performances): Gold medal in 25m rapid fire pistol (pairs) at 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Gold medal at 10m air pistol at 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Bronze medal in 25m rapid fire pistol (singles) event
Silver medal at 2014 in 25m rapid fire pistol event (team) in 2014 Asian Games
Rio Prospects: Gurpreet Singh has been very successful in doubles or at team events, but has failed to replicate the success in individual events. If history is to be the judge, Gurpreet will find it tough to win a medal in Rio, but one cannot discount the possibility.
Gurpreet was the fifth Indian shooter to qualify for the Games and the only one to represent the country in the 10m air pistol and 25m rapid fire pistol events. A Commonwealth Games gold medalist in shooting, Gurpreet Singh knew nothing about the sport until six years ago, when he was first introduced to it during an army training camp in Pune.
Gurpreet wasted no time in making an impression, hitting the bull's eye with his very first shot, but was helped by a huge slice of luck. Startled by the sound of the shot of a fellow army man in the neighbouring alley, Gurpreet mistakenly pressed the trigger and it hit the ultimate target! A day later, he failed to do so again, Gurpreet revealed in an interview to Sports Star.
However, Gurpreet grew in stature in the sport with training and rigorous practice to bring glory to the country in the 2010 Commonwealth Games where he won three medals.
Back in his village in the Tarn Taran district of Punjab, the medals helped the villagers recognize shooting as a sport. His parents who had little clue about their son's career got a fair idea only after watching him during the various global events.
Gurpreet who missed out on the 2012 Olympics will now be keen to make a mark at the Rio Olympics and plot yet another rise in his shooting career that has seen many ups and downs. Gurpreet narrowly missed out on a medal in the 2015 Shooting World Cup in Munich where he finished fourth in the 10m pistol event.
But working hard under coach national coach Sunny Thomas and personal coach Smirnov Pavel, Gurpreet will look to upset the odds and sneak a medal
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