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Aim to represent India at Olympics driving skeet prodigy Zorawar Bedi

, Dec 9 (PTI) A 15-year-old doing remarkably well in a demanding sport like skeet shooting and also managing academics is tough, but Zorawar Singh Bedi is trying his best, with the driving force being the aspiration to represent India at the Olympics one day.

The teenage shooter from Punjab made the six-shooter final in a 40-strong field and gave stalwarts like Sheeraz Sheikh and Asian Games medallist Anantjeet Singh Naruka a tough time in the national selection trials 1 on Friday, though he failed to finish among the top three at the Karni Singh range here.

Prior to featuring in the skeet national selection trials 1, Zorawar has participated in three National championships so far.

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He is a class X student and now will be taking a break from shooting to prepare for the board exams. After the exams, he plans to participate in the national trials and wants to represent the country in the World Cup next year and eventually the Olympics.

Zorawar says he avoids looking at the scoreboard during competition and just focuses on the next shot.

“In order to stay calm and composed during competition, I focus on breathing and try to avoid looking at the scoreboard and just focus on the next shot,” said Zorawar, whose father Mahinderjeet Bedi is very supportive of his son’s shooting aspirations.

“My school is also very supportive, making it easier for me to concentrate on my shooting,” he said.

The teenager expressed his gratitude to celebrated shotgun shooter and Khel Ratna awardee Ronjan Sodhi, and his grandfather who got him started in the sport.

Zorawar’s parents withdrew him from a boarding school in Dehradun and brought him back to Chandigarh because of the unavailability of shooting infrastructure there.

Zorawar’s father Mahinderjeet hoped his son will be able to strike a balance between shooting sport and studies.

“I express my gratitude to Ronjan (pistol coach), Samaresh Jung and the shooting federation for my son’s exploits,” said Mahinderjeet.

Ronjan said he had not come across a more talented shotgun shooter than Zorawar in his career and added that he needs to be groomed well.

“He is probably one of the most talented kids I’ve come across in my shooting career. At this age for someone to shoot a 121 (out of 125 in trial 1) and to top the senior trials is absolutely remarkable,” said Ronjan, the 2010 Asian Games gold medallist in double trap.

“Only thing, I would say, is that he has to be groomed well, and, for grooming, he needs proper guidance. When we talk about talent search, the federation (National Rifle Association of India)… the talent is in front of them, so they must support him in whatever manner they can. He doesn’t have any coach at the moment.

“At the age of 15, I don’t remember anyone in India shooting such a high score. Very balanced as far as the mental aspect is concerned,” he added.

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