New Delhi,26 May: Assam’s 21 years old international rifle shooter Hriday Hazarika feels that "Khelo India University Games will be a good platform to check my ability to perform under given circumstances as each competition and range is different,

Shooting competitions at the Khelo India University Games Uttar Pradesh are being held at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges here and Hriday will be representing Guwahati’s Cotton University at the Games. 

Fresh from winning a silver medal at the Baku World Cup in Azerbaijan, the Assam shooter spent an hour on Thursday at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range to check his equipment and weapon. “All is good. I did nearly one hour of practice and I am happy with the facilities,” Hriday added.

It has been almost a decade since Hriday started precision shooting. Hailing from a village Narayanpur near Tezpur, Hriday says he was an accidental shooter. Firstly, the local Shankar Dev College principal in Narayanpur opened an air weapon shooting range within the college premises. Secondly, one of the teacher’s advised Hriday to start shooting. Initially he started pistol but had more inclination towards rifle events. “I wasn’t comfortable handling a pistol. So, I switched to a 10m air rifle event,” he recalls. “It was the turning point of my shooting career.” 

He won his first national medal, a gold in 10m air rifle in the age group category in 2016.  After that, he hasn’t looked back.
The Assam’s shooter says his university has been very supportive, which is why he has been able to manage his academics and sports. “The shooting calendar is packed. It hardly gives me time to attend college. I’m thankful to the college officials for supporting me,” Hriday said.

After the Games, Hriday will compete in a domestic competition in June followed by national selection trials in July to cement his place for the August 14 to September 1 Baku World Championship, which is an Olympic qualification event. “The domestic selection trials will also be challenging. There are at least five to six 10m rifle shooters who are capable of earning three available positions for the Indian team,” the promising Assam shooter said.

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