New Delhi: Expectation are at an all time high after he created history recently by becoming the first Indian ever to defend a World Cup title but ace double trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi on Friday said that he is not under any pressure to win a medal at the London Olympics next year.
"A player develop his or her own psychology with experience. I know that the expectations are high and people will be expecting a medal from me in Olympics but that does not put any pressure on me. Instead it makes me feel more responsible and stronger," said Sodhi.
"I know this will be my first Olympics but I am comfortable and has lot of experience under my belt to handle pressure. The key factor is self belief and I have full faith in my ability. There is nothing that can stop one from winning a medal if one believes in himself," added Sodhi.
Sodhi is the lone Indian shooter to have qualified for the Shotgun World Cup Finals -- a prestigious event on the International Shooting Sports Federation calendar where the medal winners and the top finishers from the year`s four World Cups are invited to compete.
He won a silver medal to clinch India`s first shotgun quota for the London Olympics at World Cup in Beijing in April, before bagging bronze at World Cup in Maribor in July.
"I have not won a championship this year. I won a silver and a bronze at the World Cup, which gave me an added motivation to do well in the World championship," said Sodhi.
The Punjab marksman has been shooting at an excellent average of 142.6/150 in his last 26 international competitions but many are concerned he is peaking too early for Olympics.
But the shooter rubbished the claims saying, "It is not that I am peaking too early. In fact, I have been consistent over the last few years.
"And in shooting you cannot take a break as you have to maintain your rhythm. I have to consistently perform till the London Olympics," he insisted.
Sodhi last week defended his title at Al Ain in UAE by defeating China`s HU Binyuan in a nail-biting tie-breaker. He along with Binyuan shot a total of 187/200 in the finals and the Indian finally clinched gold in the tie shoot.
In the finals, the new `flash` targets were used that emits green smoke upon being hit, which are also proposed to be used at the London Olympics.
Sodhi said he was happy as the format used in UAE might also be used in London next year.
"It was a good experience, particularly in view of the London Olympics as the targets used here will be used in London too," said Sodhi.
However, Sodhi stressed that comparative low scores at the World Championships was because of the new format.
"Scores were low as they were testing the new flash targets. Some questions were raised about the targets, so the organisers of the London Olympics might reconsider their decision to use these targets but even if they use the quality has to be improved," said the shooter.
Disclosing his preparation plans for Olympics, Sodhi said, "Till February 2012 I will be experimenting by working on certain changes in my equipment and technique. But after that I will just focus on the Olympics.
"I am also working on my fitness. A physio is working with me all the time."
Stating that chances of Indian shooters making it to the podium in Olympics this time is higher, Sodhi said, "Nine shooters have already qualified for the Olympics and I expect a few more to make their way to London in the upcoming qualifiers.
"The best thing is that all of them have made it to the Olympics by winning a major championships. Since a large number of Indian shooters will participate in the Olympics the medal prospects will be higher."