Tokyo Paralympics: How meditation helped Singhraj to bronze medal

Singhraj’s talent was first spotted by coaches Omprakash Chaudhary and J.P. Nautiyal when at the age of 35, he escorted his nephew to a nearby shooting range and got hooked to the sport.

Singhraj Adana at the Tokyo Paralympics prize distribution ceremony on Tuesday.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Para shooter Singhraj Adana brought India’s eighth medal at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics by clinching bronze in the P1 Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 final on Tuesday with a score of 216.8.

The event classification includes athletes with upper and/or lower limb impairment for competition in pistol events. Singhraj was diagnosed with polio in both legs at the age of one.

Singhraj, 39, lost his compatriot, Manish Narwal, early in the competition as the latter finished seventh. He admitted that he did feel the pressure then. “As soon as Manish got eliminated, I felt very bad because he is a very good athlete and deserved a medal. I felt the pain and then moments later, I realized that it was not the time to be sad but to fight,” he said during a virtual media interaction.

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At one stage, Singhraj, who hails from Faridabad, was at the second position but he slipped to fourth. “It came to my mind that I can’t afford a bad shot now. My coaches have taught me to think about one shot and taking it perfectly. Subhash Rana (National coach) has always told me to think about the thing that gives me happiness and take the shot.”

“I took the pellet, kissed it and said to myself that this will be my perfect shot. I took the shot, it turned out to be an accurate one and I climbed up to the third spot,” he added.

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The qualification round did not go as smoothly for the world no. 5 despite finishing sixth at the end. However, he learnt from his mistakes and prepared himself for the final. “I kept in mind the mistakes from my qualification performance and discussed it with the coaches. And both of them suggested that I rectify them through meditation. I meditated for five to ten minutes and by the time I finished, all those mistakes were left far behind.”

Singhraj’s talent was first spotted by coaches Omprakash Chaudhary and J.P. Nautiyal when at the age of 35, he escorted his nephew to a nearby shooting range and got hooked to the sport. Since then, he has won multiple medals including a bronze in the P4 50m Pistol Mixed SH1 event at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Indonesia.

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