NEW DELHI: Ravi Kumar was a picture of disappointment here on Monday. After a marathon qualification relay, the 10m air rifle shooter had narrowly missed out on the finals, finishing 14th.
Divyansh Singh Panwar and Deepak Kumar had also suffered the same fate. It was a massive setback as rifle shooters are yet to make a notable impression at the ongoing World Cup.
Performing a post-mortem examination could bring out many factors as to where they fell short. For Ravi, it was a freak injury that had occurred a month back. The Asian Games bronze medallist had to go under the knife to fix his hip, which had hindered his training. What had started as fever had turned out to be a big problem.
After the selection trials (Dec, 2018), the Meerut shooter had landed in Mumbai to take part in a local competition (RR Lakshya Shooting Cup 2018). A day prior to pre-event training, he had fever.
“I had paracetamol and I thought I would be fine. However, it got worse in the night. It was already late and many places were closed. But I did manage to get help from a doctor there who advised me to take an injection, ensuring me that I will be fine in the morning,” Ravi said.
“After 10 days (around Jan 8), I got swelling near the hip area. I went to a doctor who asked me to take an ultrasound. I got to know that the area got infected and there was pus.”
After that, the Commonwealth Games bronze winner was advised bed rest for the next 20 days. When he resumed training, he was unsure if he could use his rifle properly. “I just wanted to see. I couldn’t do hard training.”
Soon after, the national camp began on February 5. He was much better but he still had dressing wrapped around the infected area and had to change it regularly. And he could not undergo any physical exercise for the first 10 days.
He does not want to use this as an excuse for falling short. “A couple of my shots were off target and it cost me dearly. I will look to bounce back next time.”
Meanwhile, coach Manoj Kumar felt that this injury had certainly hampered Ravi’s preparations. “He started training on February 1. He has missed yoga sessions, missed physical session for over a month.”
Despite the setback, Manoj is confident that Ravi and the rest of the rifle shooters will bounce back.
“Pressure is definitely there when you’re shooting at home. There’s so much expectations. That would have surely played in their minds, who are not used to this environment. We will bounce back.”