The Telegraph
Tuesday , November 13 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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A ‘lesson’ for Vijay Kumar

- ‘Mary kom is an inspiration’

Calcutta: London Olympics silver medallist in 25-metre rapid fire pistol, Vijay Kumar, has learnt a lesson.

And he has learnt it the hard way.

“I have learnt that you should never go to any tournament without preparation. Post-London I was in a celebratory mood for too long a time. And that affected my performance in the ISSF World Cup finals in Bangkok last month,” Vijay, who finished eighth in a 12-man field, said, at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club tent, on Monday.

The shooter, who was in the city for a promotional, blamed it on the lack of practice. “I could not perform well due to lack of practice… I wasn’t in shape at all. I did learn a lesson or two from the experience.”

A lesson, the shooter says, he learnt the hard way. Vijay said that he will never go into a tournament without practice, in the future. “Actually, I practised really hard for the last two years… After returning from the Olympics, my coach Pavel Smirnov advised me to take some rest. And I took a ‘long’ rest.”

Still, the shooter finds comfort from the fact that when most of the Indian shooters gave the tournament a miss, he had the guts to participate. “I shot consistently to total a score of 582. I missed the cut for the finals series by two points. That was really disappointing.

“But then, most of the shooters, who performed in the Olympics, decided to skip the tournament… But I thought otherwise. I didn’t want to skip the event.”

About his future plans, Vijay said: “I’m going back to the range after 10 days. I haven’t decided on the future events… But my aim is to win medals in the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games in 2014, and Rio Olympics.”

Of the numerous personalities that Vijay met after winning the silver medal, MC Mary Kom has impressed him the most.

“Mary Kom is an iconic figure. I have had a chance to meet her during and after the Olympics. I like the way she carries herself. She is a great fighter… She has achieved so much in life, yet she is so humble. I like the way she juggles her professional and personal life,” Vijay said.