Not happy with Shiva's team gold; he should win individual medals: Father Dilbagh
Shooter Shiva Narwal's 10m air pistol team gold achievement seems insignificant and trivial to his father Dilbagh, who wants his son to win individual medals like his elder brother Manish, who has earned the sobriquet of 'Haryana Rodways bus' that stays ahead of others.
The 17-year-old Shiva finished a distant 14th after the qualification round and missed the eight-shooter individual finals.
However, in the team event, Shiva combined with Sarabjot Singh and Arjun Singh Cheema to take the top place on the podium.
Dilbagh's reaction is not surprising as the family has a history of individual success at the big stage.
Shiva's elder brother Manish is a 2020 Tokyo Paralymics gold medallist in 50m pistol and recently returned from the WSPS World Championships in Lima with a 10m air pistol title along with 2024 Paris Paralympics quota place.
Manish is also a recipient of the highest sporting honour in the county -- the Khel Ratna.
"I want Shiva to be like Manish, who has always returned home from major international competitions with an individual gold.
"After Manish won gold in 2020 Tokyo, coaches nicknamed him 'Haryana Roadways bus' because he was always ahead of his rivals in competition quite like the buses in our state, which are driven at breakneck speeds, super-fast. I want him to be like that," Dilbagh told PTI from his home in Ballabhgarh, near Faridabad, on Thursday.
"Unless Shiva wins an individual medal, all these team achievements don't matter to me. I only get satisfaction if there is an individual gold or silver. I have got habitual to that feeling. Team medals don't really count for me," said Narwal senior, adding that both Manish and Shiva train together under coach Yogesh Singh at his academy in Rohtak.
"Since both compete in the same events (10m air pistol and 50m pistol), they can easily identify the flaws in each others' technique and suggest improvements."
Dilbagh, a former state-level free-style wrestler who runs a machine-manufacturing unit, said Manish started shooting in 2016, while Shiva took up the sport a year later.
"My daughter Shikha too is an international shooter, though she is currently out of the national squad," said Dilbagh, a 48kg freestyle grappler during his playing days.
Dilbagh said he was looking for a sport Manish could pursue as he had an impairment in his right hand.
"Someone suggested that Manish could take up shooting sport. He was passionate about football but we knew there was no future for him in the game because of his disability," said Dilbagh about his elder son.
Dilbag said initially the two brothers suffered a lot as it was extremely difficult to import pistols and specialised ammunition.
"For a very long time they didn't even have their own pistols, but now, by God's grace, all three kids have no problem."
Just when things were looking up for the three sibling in the family, tragedy struck when they lost their eldest brother last year in November and Manish, Shiva and Shikha all went into depression.
"My eldest son, Manjeet, died in a road mishap on November 1 last year after which the three went into depression. He was not a shooter."
"A water tanker hit him from behind and crushed him under the wheels. Shikha suffered the most due to the tragedy and lost her place in the national squad. She has not been able to overcome the loss still. All three were very much attached to Manjeet."
The family is now hoping that Shiva will gun for a 2024 Paris Olympic quota place at the Asian Championships in Changwon, South Korea next month.
"We have high hopes from him. Today also, we thought he would make it to the finals but Shiva had a couple of disappointing initials series which brought the pressure on him. Though he fought back and also shot a card of 99, it came too late in the competition," said the senior Narwal.