Happy Birthday Vijay Kumar: Indian pistol shooter’s latest aim is 2024 Paris Olympics

Happy Birthday Vijay Kumar: Indian pistol shooter’s latest aim is 2024 Paris Olympics

Vijay Kumar, who won a silver medal in shooting at the London Olympics, celebrates his 37th birthday today (19 August). The 37-year-old shooter, who came second in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event at the 2012 Olympics, took a break after the 2018 World Championships in Changwon. He got back to competitive action in April 2022. After leaving the Indian Army in 2017, Kumar joined the state police force of Himachal Pradesh under sports quota and concentrated on finishing his police training. He has been assigned to Bilaspur and is currently serving as the Deputy Superintendent of Police.

It was at the Senior National Championships in November last year where Kumar re-appeared and his performance won over the selectors. He also demonstrated consistency throughout the two recent selection trials in Bhopal that led to his comeback. Kumar was selected for the 25-meter centre-fire pistol squad as well as the rapid fire pistol squad. He would then proceed to participate in international competitions, but his ultimate objective is to gain entry into the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Vijay Kumar, a former Army personnel’s son, has a long history with shooting. In 2001, he enlisted in the Indian Army. After a few years, he was sent to the Army Marksmanship Unit, where he began training with Russian trainer Pavel Smirnov. Success followed in no time.

At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, he won two gold medals, and later that year, at the Asian Games, he won a bronze. In 2007, Vijay Kumar finished second at the Asian Championship and appeared prepared to compete in his first Olympics in Beijing in 2008.

However, Kumar’s Olympic debut was delayed due to a bout of chickenpox. He made a remarkable comeback following his recovery by winning the silver medal in the ISSF World Shooting Championships in 2009.

Vijay Kumar won three gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, including the rapid fire and centre fire pistol singles events.

He entered the Olympic year in excellent shape thanks to his silver at the 2011 ISSF World Shooting Championships and his bronze at the 2011 Asian Games. He ended up being selected for the Indian shooters’ team for London 2012.

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