New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ravi Kumar is hopeful of bagging an Olympic quota at the ISSF Shooting World Cup but feels it doesn't gurantee him a ticket to Tokyo as the quota belongs to a country.
Ravi believes the Indian team is well prepared to deliver their best at the prestigious event, starting on Thursday at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, however, felt it can be anybody's game on a particular day.
Talking to IANS on the eve of the tournament, the 29-year-old said: "A quota goes to a country. Even if I bag an Olympic quota but my performence is not up to the mark after a year, I myself won't like to compete."
"A country needs medals as it spends a lot on us. If after a year any of my senoir or juniors is in his prime form, that person will go for Olympics," he added.
Significantly, the first World Cup of this year has 16 Olympics quotas for Tokyo 2020 up for grabs as India had already bagged two quotas last year.
Ravi, who competes in 10m air rifle event, also said competition in his category will not be cakewalk as it also features several ace shooters from around the world. "Competition is very tough in this event. To name a few, shooters like Peter Sidi, Istvan Peni and some other Olympic champions are also there. However, it all depends on whose luck favours and who performs better on a particular day," Ravi expressed.
He also praised ace shooter Abhinav Bindra for supporting and guiding him when his form hit a low. Ravi and Bindra, alongwith Sanjeev Rajput had earlier competed together in the men's 10m air rifle team event at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and bagged the bronze for India.
"He (Bindra) has helped me a lot. We came in touch in 2014 and the next year my form suffered a downfall. Bindra personally motivated me as he called me at his home in Chandigarh and and trained me at his home. The result was there - I regained my form within six months," Ravi pointed out.
"When people like him support us, it encourages us to train harder and perform better so that they don't get dissapointed," he added.
Ravi also believed the sport roping in a permanent broadcaster will further help in the growth of the discipline and of shooters in India. Notably, the ISSF had recently signed a broadcasting deal with Sony Pictures Network to telacast the World Cup live.
"From outside, people feel shooting is child's play as you just have to pick up the gun and shoot. However, it is not like that at all. With this development, shooting has a bright future in India as people will also know how mentally and physically tough a game it is. So, when they start recognising and supporting us, it will boost our morale," he asserted.
(Kaushik Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)