Monday, December 4, 2023



Rajeshwari Kumari emulates father Randhir Singh by winning silver in Asian Games

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Randhir Singh himself pursued Trap shooting, won gold and bronze medals in Asian Games

Hangzhou, Oct 1, 2023- When it comes to shooting competitions, Olympic Council of Asian (OCA) president Randhir Singh has a special place for Trap. He can watch it with a lot of interest having himself played it with passion for years.

Randhir Singh has himself pursued Trap shooting with passion, winning gold and bronze medals in the 1978 and 1982 Asian Games respectively.

So, as members of the Indian women’s team battled it out for placings in the qualifying round of the Women’s Trap competition at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Sunday, Randhir Singh, acting-president of the Olympic Council of Asia was watching with a lot of interest.

He had a special interest in following it, not only because the Indian shooters had so far done exceptionally well in the entire shooting competition at the 19th Asian Games but also because his daughter, Rajeshwari Kumari was competing in the Hangzhou and if she won, she will add a new chapter to the family history.

Randhir won a team silver in the Men’s trap team competition in the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi and it was his father Raja Bhalendra Singh who was the OCA president and awarded him the medals.

On Sunday, October 1, 2023, history repeated itself as Rajeshwari Singh won a silver medal as part of the women’s trap team with her father Randhir Singh, watching from the stands.

“It’s really a proud moment for me because I won the silver medal in the Men’s Trap Team competition in the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. Today history has repeated itself. On that occasion, my father as the OCA president awarded me the medal,” Randhir Singh told at the Shotgun Range at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre in Hangzhou.

So, what did the father tell his daughter the day before she competed?

“I did not speak to her. She asked me not to call her the day before her event. We have talked about other things but not about her competition. She did well today, actually, the entire Indian team did well because one of the girls (Wu Cuicui) shot 124 out of 125, which was better than that in the men’s trap,” said Randhir Singh.

“She has her own team of coaches and sports psychologists. Nowadays the younger generation likes to do things their own way. Also, shooting has changed a lot from my time,” said Randhir Singh.

Rajeshwari Kumari had a total of 111 on Sunday while her teammates Preeti Rajak and Manisha Keer had scores of 112 and 114 respectively.

The Indian team thus finished with a score of 337 and finished behind host China, who set a new World Record score of 357 to bag the gold medal while Kazakhstan took bronze at 336.

Randhir, a pioneer of Indian shooting in the Asian Games, won the gold medal in Men’s trap Individual at the 1978 edition at Bangkok and a bronze medal in 1982 in New Delhi. He has a full set of Asian Games medals having won the silver medal for the Men’s Trap Team competition along with Pranab Kumar Roy, Gurbir Singh and Dr Karni Singh.

He was also thrilled with the performance of the Indian shooting squad in Hangzhou as it came up with its best-ever performance in the Asian Games.

“Before the Asian Games, the president of NRAI had said that he expected 20 medals. We already have 21 and there are a couple of events to go,” he added.

Rajeshwari Kumari had last month made history by securing an Olympic quota for the Paris 2024 Games next year. She is hoping to compete in the Paris Olympics with her father watching her from the stands — as had happened in the case of Randhir Singh, who competed in the Olympics with his father, as India’s IOC representative, watched from the stands.

Life will come full circle for Randhir Singh and his family if that happens in Paris. (Agency)

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