Pistol shooter Rahi Sarnobat, set to compete in her second Olympic Games later this year, says her perspective for Tokyo2020 would be really different to her experience at the London Olympic Games in 2012.
“The biggest lesson I got from (London2012) was that, as athlete, we are much more than what we think and believe and that our abilities are higher than what we actually think. I got overwhelmed in London and I was very satisfied just being there. But later, I felt that this was not unachievable, and it was absolutely in my hand, but it was just my thought process,” Rahi said in an interaction with the media, facilitated by the Sports Authority of India. “I will have a different perspective this time.”
Rahi, who has been part of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports’ Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS) since December 2018, would be competing in the 25m pistol event along with Manu Bhaker. She believes not only in herself but also in her teammates, “I believe we are going there as a stronger team,” she said.
“There is a huge difference between shooters of my generations and the younger ones. They are more ready than we were as juniors 10 or 15 years ago. This generation is really talented and confident. They respect their seniors and willing to learn from their seniors and they believe in themselves equally and do not see themselves as the weaker part of the team,” she said.
“There are days when I ask them how they do what they do and how they think. I seek their opinion, So, this is a discussion and not about me having been there (at the Olympics) and telling them something, it is not like that. Only when they come and ask me that I talk about my experience. They do not have questions about the past experience of the Olympics as they really have had good exposure in the past and good competitions as well and I think they are quite ready for the Olympics,” Rahi said.
The Olympic-bound pistol and rifles shooters would be heading for Zagreb, Croatia on May 10 on board a chartered flight. The camp, planned by the National Rifle Association of India and the Sports Authority of India, has been sanctioned a budget of around Rs. 4 crores by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The pistol and rifle squad would first head to Zagreb for a camp and then compete as guest shooters in the European Championship from May 20 to June 6 in Osijek. It will also return to that city for the last ISSF World Cup before the Olympic Games, from June 22 to July 3.