Jitu Rai resumes national duty amid COVID-19 crisis

Asian Games gold medallist Jitu Rai, promoted to the rank of Subedar Major in the army, has flown to the north-east to be with his regiment.

Jitu Rai with his wife Sushmita and son Jishu.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

Asian Games gold medallist and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee Jitu Rai is on national duty.

Promoted to the rank of Subedar Major in the army, Jitu has flown to the north-east to be with his regiment.

"There is no sport happening. I thought, why waste time. It is the best time to serve the army and the country. That is my priority ahead of sports," said Jitu who moved from his family base in Indore.

On reaching his destination and his unit, Jitu had to be on quarantine for 21 days, before reporting for duty and getting the promotion. "I never ignore shooting. I am carrying my gun and get to practice dry firing for about one or two hours every day," said Jitu, who had made the Olympic final in Rio.

He has won the World Championship silver medal, apart from a bunch of medals, in the World Cups and the Commonwealth Games.

READ| Shooting camp venue will depend on COVID-19 situation

"I know that I can come back into the national team and aim for Olympic medal again," said Jitu who had married Sushmita after the Rio Olympics and has a one-year-old son Jishu.

Hearing about his presence in the region, some of the other leading sportspersons offered to visit him, but Jitu discouraged them saying that he was in quarantine.

"Whether it is sports or army, I will do my job, with the same devotion and concentration," the 32-year-old Jitu said.

Jitu has already had a long stint with the army, having joined it in 2006. In fact, it was at the behest of the army officers that he trained in competitive shooting and became a world class shooter.

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