All you need to know about Singhraj Adhana: The shooter who won bronze in Tokyo 2020 Paralympics
Singhraj Adhana bagged the bronze medal in the P1 men's 10m air pistol SH1 event at the Tokyo Paralympics to help India earn the eighth medal. He finished with a score of 216.8 in the finals to finish behind China's Chao Yang, who created a Paralympic record, and Xing Huang.
Though he was sixth in the qualifiers, Adhana elevated his game when it mattered.
"I did not perform well for the qualification. I discussed this with my coaches. I meditated for five minutes and that helped me to get over my weaknesses," he stated after winning bronze.
In the final round, he started firing on all guns. He was locked in an intense battle with China's Xialong Lou for third place. In the elimination battle, Singhraj scored 9.6 while his opponent could manage only 8.6.
"I am happy, to win bronze. But I was aiming for gold. No worries. I am happy with a bronze. There was pressure. But I kept my focus. The Chinese shooters were doing pretty well and they occupied the first three spots. So I just focused on getting a perfect shot. Fortunately, I got that and I ended with a bronze," he said.
How did Singhraj Adhana take to shooting?
It was only at the age of 35 he started shooting while accompanying his nephew to a shooting range. However, he tried to become a swimmer before that.
"There was a swimming pool at my complex. I wanted to swim. But I could not swim as I felt ashamed to take off my clothes. Then my nephew suggested me to take up shooting. I went to the range with him and I was listening to the coaches. The coaches then told me to take aim and after five shots, four of them were in the 10s. After that I learnt about para shooting. I wanted to do something for my country and I got this opportunity," he stated.
Adhana had to travel 40km daily between his home to the shooting range every day to keep practicing. He was training under national coach Subhash Rana who guided him after being impressed by his talent.
However, he had to endure many hardships as he hails from a weak financial background. He even had to sell off his wife's jewellery to continue shooting.
“Shooting is an expensive sport, and it was not easy pursuing it," Singhraj said during an interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “My wife sold her jewellery to support my shooting dream."
How did Singhraj Adhana train for the Paralympics?
The country went to lockdown in 2020 to tackle the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and shooting ranges were closed. However, the shooter did not give up hope and built a makeshift shooting range at his home.
"I had stopped sleeping due to anxiety as I was not being able to train. Then my coaches suggested me to make a makeshift range at home. I started working on that immediately. It is a very costly project and my family did not want me to go ahead. But eventually, they agreed and I built a 10m and 50m range in my house. I got massive help from SAI and Deepa Malik madam to set this up. I did not leave any stone unturned to match the international standards of a shooting range and since I continued to practice there, I think I achieved success in Tokyo," he revealed.
What are Singhraj Adhana's achievements?
1. World Rank 4th in P4 Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 (P4) and 5th in Pl Men’s 10m Air Pistol event.
2. Gold medal in P4 Team and Silver in P4 Individual events in Chateauroux World Cup 2018. France.
3. Bronze medal in P4 of Para Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
4. Gold medal in Pl team event and a Silver medal in P4 individual event at Al Ain World Cup 2019, UAE.
5. 2 Gold in P1, P4 team events, and 2 Bronzes in P4 individual and P6 Team events in Osijek World Cup 2019.
6. Bronze medal in P4 team event in Sydney World Championship 2019, Australia.
7. Gold medal in P1, Silver in P4 team event, and Bronze in P4 individual event in Al Ain World Cup 2021 held in UAE.