Skipping felicitation functions helped Sodhi prepare better

New Delhi: A trip to Italy a day after the Delhi Commonwealth Games, it seems, was the secret behind Ronjan Sodhi`s gold-medal winning feat at the Asian Games in Guangzhou.

The world number 3, who clinched the elusive gold medal for India in shooting event of the Asian Games, said,"There were so many felicitation programmes in the 15 days or around that between the CWG and the Asian Games. So where was the time to prepare, but I left for Italy the next day, right after it (Delhi Games) got over.

His trip to Italy ensured Sodhi did not have to attend those felicitations programmes after the CWG.

Indian shooters, after their record haul of 30 medals in the Delhi Commonwealth Games, came a cropper managing just eight medals in Guangzhou, with Sondhi being the lone gold medallist. The world number 3 won the yellow metal in double trap, beating some of the best in the business.

It has been a season of accomplishments for the shooter who shot impressively in the World Cup and the World Cup finals apart from the CWG and the Asian Games.

Asked if he now he sees himself as the biggest name in Indian shooting, Sodhi was modesty personified and instead preferred to highlight the overall development of the sport in the past few years.

"Indian shooters have been doing very well over the last few years and the sport has gone up," he said.

Sodhi, along with other athletes, were here for a felicitation programme, organised by the Mittal Trust Champions for its athletes, who competed in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.

"We do believe that is this just the stepping stone to even greater success and bigger achievements. We have had a long-term vision since the inception in 2005, to recognize talent and transform them into international champions.

"Our aim is to put India firmly on the medal grid by the 2012 London Olympics," said Amit Bhatia, board member of the Mittal Champions Trust.

During the programme, the athletes were asked to sign their autographs near their mug shots and write what they are hoping to win in London two years later.

As expected, all athletes wrote gold. But Sodhi, interesting, didn`t write anything and said, "I am superstitious about writing my medal but I assure you that I will put my best foot forward in London."


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