Eight things to know about Asian Games gold medallist Rahi Sarnobat

Published: 23rd August 2018 01:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2018 07:53 AM  

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Rahi Sarnobat on Wednesday became the first Indian female shooter to win a gold at the Asian Games, achieving the rare feat after a nerve-wracking 25m pistol final. Click to know more about her:
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Rahi Jeevan Sarnobat hails from Kolhapur in Maharashtra. Her inspiration is fellow Maharashtrian and 50m rifle prone world champion Tejaswini Sawant. Rahi Sarnobat is also the sixth Indian to shoot a gold at the Asian Games, joining Saurabh Chaudhary, Jaspal Rana, Randhir Singh, Jitu Rai and Ronjan Sodhi. Her 34 in the finals also ended up as a joint Games Record. (Photo |AP)
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Rahi, who had become India's first pistol shooter to win a gold in World Cup back in 2013, had suffered a serious elbow injury last year - just before going to Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. On her way to training in Pune, she misplaced a step, tripped and fractured her elbow. While she ploughed on to get gold in Scotland before following that up with a bronze in the 25m pistol team event at Incheon, the injury had already done enough damage. The recoil effect caused the broken bones to grind together. (Photo | Twitter)
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From 2015 to the end of 2016 was spent either in shooting ranges or on hospital beds; trying to find a cure for poor scores and pain in the elbow. She had once posted on Twitter: “Weapons give me a peace of mind.” It was only giving her pain then. That’s when she decided to go for two steroid shots. It was a painful process which put her out of action for seven months. (Photo | AP)
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Rahi won the bronze medal in world cup 2011 and got selected for London Olympics in 2012, thereby becoming the first Indian shooter to qualify for the 25 meters sports pistol event in the Olympics. Rahi is a double gold medallist at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and had a bronze in the 25m pistol pairs event at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. She won her first gold medal at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune. Rahi had not won a major medal since the Commonwealth Games gold in 2014 due to the injury. Rahi was taken aback when she was told that she had become the first female from India to win a shooting gold at Asian Games. But this medal was extremely important for her, having also undergone a laparoscopic surgery earlier this year. (IN PIC: Silver medalist Thailand's Naphaswan Yangpaiboon, left, gold medalist India's Rahi Jeevan Sarnobat, center, and bonze medalist South Korea's Kim Minjung display their medal at the final round of the 25m pistol women's shooting event at the 18th Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, Aug. 22, 2018/ AP)
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Realising that she needed a tweak in her technique following her injuries, Rahi roped in Munkhbayar Dorjsuren, a two-time world champion and Olympic medallist from Germany. They hit it off immediately and she signed a contract with the German-Mongolian till 2020. Rahi is thankful for the emotional connection. “We had one trial training camp and after that, I decided to hire her.” Dorsjuren is originally a Mongolian who moved to Germany and claimed an Olympic bronze for the country back in 2008, the same year Abhinav Bindra scripted history for Indian shooting. (Photo | AP)
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Both Anisa Sayyed, Rahi’s partner when they won team gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and Joydeep Karmakar, who saw his junior up close during the London Olympics, said this couldn’t have come to a better person. Anisa spoke intimately about the injury struggles she had to grapple. “She had problems and had to undergo operations,” Anisa said. “Once she was confined to the bed for two months.” (Photo | AP)
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Rahi is an avid reader who never gets excited. 'I have got four books kept in my room at the Games Village. I am currently reading S L Bhyrappa. He is a Kannada writer but I am reading the Marathi translated version. It is about human relations and philosophy. I have three days free so I am going to back to my room and finish it,' said Rahi. (Photo | AP)
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Next stop is the Worlds in Changwon in South Korea, the place where she won her only World Cup gold, back in 2013.' I hope Changwon is lucky for me again,' Rahi said. (Photo | AP)
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Congratulations, Rahi Sarnobat! (Photo |AP)
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