New Delhi [India], May 25 (ANI): Assam's 21 years old international rifle shooter Hriday Hazarika has a habit of taking each competition as seriously as he prepares himself to shoot a perfect shot at the ranges.
Shooting competitions at the Khelo India University Games 2022 Uttar Pradesh that are being held at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges, is an important event says the world cup medalist from Assam as he plans to test his skills here. "The Khelo India University Games will be a good platform to check my ability to perform under given circumstances as each competition and range is different," the official release quoted college-going shooter as saying.
Hriday will be representing Guwahati's Cotton University at the Khelo India University Games 2022 Uttar Pradesh.
Fresh from winning a silver medal at the Baku World Cup in Azerbaijan, the Assam shooter spent an hour on Thursday at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range to check his equipment and weapon. "All is good. I did nearly one hour of practice and I am happy with the facilities," Hriday added.
It has been almost a decade since Hriday started precision shooting. Hailing from the village Narayanpur near Tezpur, Hriday says he was an accidental shooter. Firstly, the local Shankar Dev College principal in Narayanpur opened an air weapon shooting range within the college premises. Secondly, one of the teachers advised Hriday to start shooting. Initially, he started pistol but had more inclination towards rifle events. "I wasn't comfortable handling a pistol. So, I switched to a 10m air rifle event," he recalls. "It was the turning point of my shooting career."Initially, he borrowed weapons to compete from Shankar Dev College, but later purchased his own weapon.
He won his first national medal, a gold in the 10m air rifle in the age group category in 2016. Since then he hasn't looked back.
The Assam's International rifle shooter says his university has been very supportive, which is why he has been able to manage his academics and sports. "The shooting calendar is packed. It hardly gives me time to attend college. I'm thankful to the college officials for supporting me," Hriday said.
Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range is home away from home for the promising 10m air rifle shooter. "I normally practice at Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range when I am not travelling to compete at international competitions," Hriday reveals.
After the Khelo India University Games, Hriday will compete in a domestic competition in June followed by national selection trials in July to cement his place for the August 14 to September 1 Baku World Championship, which is an Olympic qualification event. "The domestic selection trials will also be challenging. There are at least five to six 10m rifle shooters who are capable of earning three available positions for the Indian team," the promising Assam shooter said.
India has already earned one Paris Olympic Games quota place in the men's 10m air rifle event through Rudrankksh Patil. At the Baku World Championship in August, the national team will be eligible to earn one more quota place for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The International Sport Shooting Federation (ISSF), policy allows each national team to field two shooters in one Olympic discipline. (ANI)