New Delhi, Feb 25:
India’s top double trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi has a clear cut goal for 2014 — He wants to defend his Asian Games title and do enough at the World Championships to secure a qualifying spot for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Besides the two tournaments, Sodhi has four World Cup meets and the Commonwealth Games to deal with.
“It will be a packed year. The training so far has been good. The most competitive event will be the Asian Games where I defend my title. Not to forget, the World Championships will offer a quota place for the Rio Olympics,” Sodhi told IANS in an interaction here Tuesday.
Sodhi stressed on the importance of doing well at the World Championships in Grenada, Spain in September. Sixty-four Olympics spots will be up for grabs at shooting’s premier competition.
“The worlds have a quota place and if you are able to qualify two years before Rio, you can sit and relax and go about your training in a planned manner,” said the 34-year-old who still has nightmares about not making the double trap final at the 2012 London Olympics where he was considered a top medal prospect.
“I am a human being and it is tough to forget what happened in London. I will prepare as hard as I can to not succumb to any form of pressure at Rio,” said the affable shooter.
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee heads to Italy again next month to prepare for the first World Cup to be held at Tucson in the US April 8-15.
“Italy has been like a second home now. Like every year, I will be visiting the country three to four times a year.”
He has been one of the four shotgun shooters to have received Rs.50 lakh from the government for exposure and competing in international tournaments.
“There is nothing to complain on the government front. It is doing a fantastic job and has come up with a policy that will groom shooters till the 2020 Olympics,” he added.