Tokyo: Covid-19 had affected the training of many Indian sportspersons for both the Olympics and the Paralympics currently on at Tokyo. However, it was not the case for bronze medal-winning shooter Shinghraj Adana. To keep his preparations on track Singhraj Adana simply built the range at home after drawing its layout in just one night.
Adana’s efforts paid off at the Asaka Shooting Range here Tuesday. The 39-year-old shooter who is only four years after taking to the sport, won the Paralympics bronze medal in the P1 men’s 10m air pistol SH1 event.
However, for someone who could only watch helplessly as his wife once sold her jewellery to support his shooting dream, Adana knew the move was a huge gamble and so did his mother. However, during lockdown he was not being able to train. The polio-afflicted Adana was in turmoil and couldn’t even sleep properly. So he went ahead and took the risk.
“As I was not able to train, I started thinking that my dream of winning a medal is over. That’s when my coaches suggested why not try building a range at home,” Adana said in a media interaction.
“I was getting desperate and was not able to sleep at all because of the absence of training. So I approached my family with the idea and they were taken aback at first as it involved lakhs of rupees. My mother only asked me to ensure that we would able to feed ourselves later on if something went wrong. But thanks to my family and coaches’ support, the green signal and help from the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) and NRAI, we succeeded in my mission. The range was soon up and running and I could train,” he added.
Adana said he designed the range himself.
“I drew the layout overnight. My coaches told me that if at all we are building a range then it has to be of international level. It would then help me for not just Tokyo but also Paris Games as well. That’s why I am here today,” Adana said.
Adana has served as the chairman of the Sainik Public School in Faridabad. He shot a total of 216.8 to finish the event in the third place after qualifying for the eight-man final as the sixth best shooter.
Adana’s first brush with the sport happened when he accompanied his nephew to a shooting range.
“My nephew Gaurav Adana is a shooter. I was smiling as they trained and the coach asked me about the reason. That day I tried my hand at shooting and was on target four out of five times. I also hit the inner 10 a couple of times,” he recalled proudly.
Adana was coming into the Games after winning a gold at the 2021 Para Sport World Cup held in Al Ain, UAE, where he upstaged 2016 Rio Paralympics bronze-medallist Server Ibragimov by 2.8 points to claim the top spot.
“The coach was taken aback and asked me to start focussing on the sport. He said that I can bring laurels for my country, something I have always wanted to do. I have also done social work before getting into shooting. I realised that I can indeed do something worthwhile for India,” said the athlete whose grandfather was part of the freedom movement and fought in the Second World War.
Adana got emotional when asked about the struggles in his journey to the top. He could not express much during the virtual interaction with a handful of journalists.
“I will do it later. Life is tough for any para athlete. I had polio on both my legs and needed crutches to walk. But my mother, who has always supported me along with others in the family, would tell me, motivate me to stand on my own legs,” he said.