Commonwealth Games 2018: Facts about Shooter Jitu Rai..Shooter Jitu Rai won gold in men’s 10m air pistol event setting a new Commonwealth Games record while compatriot Om Mitharval won bronze at the Belmont Shooting Centre on day five of the Gold Coast CWG 2018.
Jitu Rai shooting, won a CWG gold in 50m air pistol event four years ago in Glasgow, shot a total of 235.1 after qualifying for the final in the fifth position.
Om Mitharval, who qualified for the final equaling the CWG qualification record, shot a total of 214.3 and Australia’s Kerry Bell won silver (233.5).
Rai is a 2014 Asian Games gold medalist as well as two-time ISSF World Cup medalist. In 2014, at the age of 26, Jitu competed in his first CWG and clinched gold on debut in the men’s 50m pistol event. He creating a CWG record in the qualification round of the 50m pistol event with 562 points and went on to win gold, scoring 194.1 points in the final, which was another record.
That was Jitu’s best year as an international shooter. Along with that CWG gold, he won a silver medal in the 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich, then became the first Indian shooter to win two medals at a single world cup in Maribor – a gold in the 10m air pistol and a silver in the 50m pistol – and later won the 50m pistol gold medal and bronze in the men’s 10m air pistol team event at the Asian Games.
In 2016, Jitu clinched a silver medal in the 50m pistol event of the 2016 ISSF World Cup Final after which the ISSF awarded him the ‘Champion of Champions’ title.
In 2017, Jitu won four gold medals and a bronze at ISSF events and two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships. Individually, he won 50m and 10m bronze at the Commonwealth Shooting Championships in Brisbane, the 50m gold at the 61st National Shooting Championship with a new national record score of 233 and a 10m air pistol bronze at the 10th Asian Championship.
Some unknown facts about Shooter Jitu Rai
- Jitu Rai was born in the Sankhuwa Sabha district of Nepal in a village that was situated in the middle of a forest. After growing up, he migrated to India along with his family and became an Indian citizen.
- After his father death, Jitu was thrust into a position of responsibility towards his family. He decided to join the Indian Army and became a part of the 11 Gorkha Rifles regiment.
- After joining the Army, Jitu did not display a keen interest in shooting. However, that soon changed after his Army coach GR Garbaraj Rai made them go through the hard training regime for marksmen. The first gun that Jitu eventually used was a 9mm pistol.
- After the Army team failure, Jitu was entirely focused on improving his skill set and began training very hard. He decided to start shooting the free pistol in 2013 and won a quota in free pistol in the next year.
- Jitu competed in his first ISSF World Cup in Munich in 2014 and was part of the 10m Air Pistol event. He ended up winning the silver medal in the event which turned to be a good year as he won a gold and silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Maribor the same year. He became the first Indian to win two medals at a single World Cup for India.
- Rai featured in his first Commonwealth Games back in 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland and clinched the gold in his debut in the 50m pistol event. He scored a CWG record 562 points in the qualification round and then won gold with 194.1 points, another CWG record.
- In August 2015 he was conferred with the Arjuna award.
- For his achievements in the sport during his career, the Government of India honored him with the highest sporting award in the country, the Khel Ratna award in 2016.