The pressure of being the son of an Olympic medal winning shooter could have weighed him down, but Manavaditya Singh Rathore has used it to his advantage.
Eight years since taking up shooting, on the back of an impressive resume and inputs from his Olympic silver-medallist father Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the youngster now has his eyes set on the Indian senior team.
The 20-year-old won three gold medals in the recently-concluded 63rd National Shotgun Shooting Championship here. After showing promise in junior tournaments, Manavaditya is seeking to perform in next month’s trials and stake a claim for selection in the senior team.
“I am delighted to have finished my last nationals in junior with this kind of performance,” he told PTI . “Like any athlete, my long-term goal is participate in the Olympics and win a medal there. But my immediate goal is to make it to the Indian senior team,” the trap shooter added.
Apart from his doctor-mother, Manavaditya’s father has been one of his biggest pillars of strength. Asked if his father's achievements in the sport helped, he said. “Initially, whenever I would take aim at tournaments, it would make me conscious. I used to feel a lot of things.
“But then I thought about it and realised that I can benefit so much from him. Since my father has been a sportsman himself, he understands it better. Yes, he did often give me tips and shared his skills with me. That surely helped.
“I did try to build upon the experience and skills of my father and it really helped,” he added.
A Member of Parliament, the 49-year-old Rathore Senior served as the Union Sports Minister from September 2017 to May 2019.
“A lot of times we go to the range together and shoot, and it also doubles up as picnic, so it’s nice,” said Manavaditya.
Born in a family with a military and sports background, it came as no surprise when Manavaditya held the gun for the first time. Last Saturday, he combined with Anushka Singh Bhati to claim the top honours in the mixed team trap event, his third straight gold in the tournament.
A student of Delhi University’s Hansraj College, he also won the individual junior men’s trap event and the team title in the championship.
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