Despite suffering from major health issues from birth, India's teenage shooter Adarsh Singh, who proved his mettle with some stunning performances at the junior level including the Khelo India Games, is all set to feature in his first senior World Cup starting on February 20 here.
Adarsh, who had played two junior World Cups and World Championships, had a major health issue right from the day he was born.
Despite the problem, Adarsh, who once wanted to be a cricketer, gave up on his dream and started shooting, which eventually became his main interest.
"When I was born, my nervous system in my lower-back was totally outside and when I was only six days old I got operated and even now if I play any sport which requires more fitness it causes problems," Adarsh told IANS.
"Earlier, I used to play cricket but it requires more fitness to reach a good level and that back problem was hampering my preparations. When I started practising for the state level I was not comfortable so I dropped the idea of playing cricket and my father suggested me to try for shooting," Adarsh said.
"But now I am fully fit and even started training more to improve my game," the 17-year-old added.
With the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup to be held at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range here later this month, home conditions might play a crucial role in individual performances.
When questioned about his confidence level, the Haryana player said: "Yes, we have a little advantage of home conditions. Actually everyone has some home advantage."
"We have been practising in this range for quite a long time so its a bit of an advantage for us this time as we know the conditions well which also help us in our confidence," he added.
This World Cup in the capital will offer 16 quota places for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"Yes, a little bit of pressure is there but it is not affecting my game in any way. I am focusing on my performance and will give my cent per cent in this event," he said.
(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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