15-year-old Shardul Vihan won the silver medal in the men’s double trap event at the Asian games 2018. He finished one shot behind Korea’s Sungin. During their final gold match, Vihan missed his very first shot, taking all the rest. However, his opponent, Sungin, shot all on target in his first round. In their second round, Vihan, again, missed his third shot while Sungin missed two. With this, Korean took the gold and the Indian shooter had to settle for silver.
In the qualification stages of the double trap event, Vihan finished first, beating his senior competitor, Ankur Mittal, who finished 9th.
Vihan took up shooting just four years back, and in 2017, he won four gold medals at the National Shooting Championship, defeating India No.1 double trap shooter, Ankur Mittal, by two points.
Like any other sportsmen, the journey of Shardul Vihan was filled with struggle, but his positive mindset was his ultimate strength that helped him to persevere.
His uncle, Dharmendra Sharma, traveled with him daily from Meerut to Delhi so that he could train well. His proud father revealed in the interview:
“Since he has to cover a long distance, he eats his breakfast in the car. His uncle Manoj accompanies him to coach Anwar Sultan’s range and he waits all day till Shardul is done training. It takes a lot of courage to repeat the routine every day and not get tired of it. Neither Shardul nor my brother or Sharmaji ever complained about the travel.”
The shooting champ was trained and mentored by Arjuna awardee and former Olympian trap shooter, Anwar Sultan. Now, the next destination for him will be the World Championships in South Korea. But for that, he would have to change his participating event to trap as the double trap event is no more an Olympic event.