New Delhi: Shardul Vihan, the only trap shooter from Uttar Pradesh, is ready to enhance the glory of the Khelo India University Games for the third time. In the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, Shardul made history by winning a silver medal in the double trap event, becoming the youngest athlete to win a medal for India in the Asian Games. Now, Shardul is geared up for the Khelo India University Games and aims to win a gold medal, adding to his achievements.
Hailing from Meerut, Shardul, a third-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) at Shobhit University, clinched a gold medal in the junior trap team event at the Valerj Championship held in the city of Osijek, Croatia.
Shardul stated that his goal is to change the color of his medals at the Khelo India University Games. He has previously participated in shooting events in Bhubaneswar and Bangalore, where he won bronze medals on both occasions.
His father is involved in the real estate business, and Shardul himself started shooting at the age of 12. He practices shooting in Delhi and used to travel from Meerut to Delhi every day for practice. Despite the challenges, his passion to bring medals for the country remained strong, and the distance seemed shorter due to his dedication. Shardul believes that the competition level in shotgun shooting at the Khelo India University Games is high because players have to demonstrate their skills in a structured manner to progress further. He compared it to his experience of playing pre-state matches before participating in zonal competitions and then moving on to nationals.
Participating universities from all over India make it a national-level competition, which is well-organized and provides an international feel for new players.
Like other athletes, Shardul's ultimate goal is to win a medal for India in the Olympics. Currently practicing at the Karni Singh Shooting Range in Delhi, Shardul emphasised that an Olympic gold medal is the pinnacle for any sportsperson. He aspires to bring a gold medal in shooting to his country, state, and family.
To keep himself mentally fit, Shardul practices yoga and pranayama. For physical fitness, he plays badminton, which he believes is good for hand-eye coordination, an essential aspect of shooting.
Asked about the message he would like to convey to aspiring shooters, Shardul said that he focuses on his game and encourages others to keep their focus clear in any sport they pursue. "It is important to understand one's role, maintain dedication and hard work, as we all know that hard work never goes in vain. Giving 100 per cent to sports is crucial, as only then will sports give us something in return," he said.—IANS