The remarkable success of Indian shooters at the international events has paved the way to the birth a fresh new breed of non-cricketing sports icons for the country. The veteran Indian shooters have delivered outstanding performances at the major international events like Olympics. In the present time, the bunch of expert Indian shooters - from Abhinav Bindra to Anjali Bhagwat - has the whole country drooling over them for more such outstanding performances in the future. Even though shooters like Jaspal Rana have been doing well in various prestigious shooting sport competitions, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore's Olympic silver medal catapulted the Indian shooters to instant stardom.
The fact that in the last five years, three shooters (Rathore, Bindra and Bhagwat) have grabbed the nation's highest sporting award - the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna - is ample testimony of the growing influence of Indian shooters. The haul of medals won by the veteran Indian shooters at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games is another shot in the arm to shooting sport in India. Indian shooters blazed the shooting ranges to come home with a tally of 27 medals (16 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze). The latest feather in the cap of the shooting sport is India's first ever individual Olympic gold medal, bagged by Abhinav Bindra, at 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Abhinav Bindra is the brightest star among a new breed of talented Indian shooters. Born on 28 September 1983 to an affluent Punjabi family, Bindra developed the passion for the game at an early age. He became a shooter at the tender age of fifteen. He was the youngest participant at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
In a sport like shooting, which is traditionally considered the fiefdom of men, Anjali Vedpathak-Bhagwat's emergence as an ace shooter has been like a whiff of fresh air. Fondly known as 'Arjuna of India' and 'Indian shooting queen', Anjali has inspired a horde of young women to take up the sport of shooting. The ace shooter was born in Mumbai to a Marathi family.
Jaspal Rana is one of the most outstanding shooters India has ever produced. Born on 28 June 1976, Rana lent a glamorous touch to the sober game of shooting, both with his astounding achievements and with his good looks. Contesting primarily the 25 m Centre Fire Pistol category, Rana has secured medals for a number of times. He has won a gold medal at the 1994 Asian Games, 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2006 Asian Games as well.
Maharaja of the erstwhile princely state of Bikaner, Karni Singh was a legendary shooter in the Indian shooting circuit. A shooter par excellence, Singh was world renowned for his outclassed talent and brilliant performance. However, he did not restrict himself to shooting and had varied interests as well. This is well reflected from the fact that Singh indulged in playing tennis, golf and cricket as well.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has been the poster boy of Indian shooting ever since he won the first individual Olympic silver medal for India, in the 2004 Athens Games. Rathore brought the entire nation to its feet with that awe-inspiring performance, in Men's Double Trap event. The event has already become a part of Indian sporting folklore for the sheer delight it brought to this humongous nation of one billion people.
Shooting has been a popular sport in India and was a favorite game with the Maharajas of the former princely states of India. The need to be adept and an expertise in shooting was an essential constituent to be a true royal descendant. This is one of the reasons that the origin of some of the leading shooters of India can be traced back to the erstwhile imperial families of India.
Shooting has been one of the most popular games in the India. In the ancient times, the need to be a master in the field was imperative, taking into consideration the colossal empires handled by the Maharajas. To be a true royal descendant, one had to have a forte at shooting. In the present times, shooting is looked upon more as an activity or game. Talking about the famous Indian shooters of the present era, Samresh Jung is one name that comes to mind.