In the countdown to the 2012 London Olympics, we retrace some memorable Indian moments at the historical games. Today, a look at Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
After the UAE's Ahmed Almaktoum took a considerable lead for the gold, India's Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore stepped forward to take a shot at the silver medal. Rathore was needed to shoot both the flying clay targets in his last attempt. Bang, bang! He was right on the money, as he punched the air in celebration and in the process left the other three contenders in distraught, who were eyeing the silver medal.
This silver medal won by Rathore in the double trap event at the 2004 Athens Olympics broke the jinx for India of looking beyond bronze in an individual event. After an average preliminary round performance, Rathore's shooting picked up in the final round and he was looking good for gold, but windy conditions didn’t help his cause. However, the army man kept his cool to shoot 179 out of 200 to finish second ahead of China's Wang Zheng.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore\'s silver medal win in 2004 was a turning point in the history of Indian Olympic Sports.
At the Athens Olympics, Indian contingent looked like coming back without a medal compared to Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000), where India managed to bag at least a bronze. But thanks to Rathore India didn't have to return empty handed.
Rathore became the first Indian (post independence) to win an individual silver after Norman Pritchard, a British citizen, who won two silver medals at the 1900 Paris Olympics. Rathore's medal truly was a turning point in the history of Indian Olympic sports.