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I died a hundred times: Rathore

August 17, 2004 20:13 IST

After bringing India its first ever individual silver at the Olympics since Independence, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Tuesday said that the atmosphere at the Markopoulo Shooting Centre in Athens was so tense that he 'died a hundred times'.

"Yes, I was a little tense. I died a hundred times there but everything went off well," Rathore said after his historic performance.

"I had worked hard for this moment. I was confident also that I could do it," the 34-year-old army major said.

Rathore was obviously ecstatic after winning India's first medal here, which he said should inspire lot of youngsters in the future.

"It is a great feeling, something very special. I am happy I could win a silver for my country," he added.

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He said his Athens triumph was not only a personal glory and hoped it would also inspire a whole new generation of shooters.

"I am not only happy that it is the first silver since Independence. As far as I am concerned, this silver should inspire a lot of other young people," he said. "Cricket is a very important game in India, I also like cricket. But my achievement should encourage youngsters to take up other disciplines like shooting."

"I hope we can win more medals for the country."

There was a tinge of sadness as his mind went back in memory. "I had taken part in lot of tournaments and it was a bit of a struggle to arrange for the funds. Anyway, this medal means a lot to me." he added.

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