Historic day at the shooting ranges, Randhir Singh family legacy continues

The great Iineages of Indian shooting continue to contribute bulls-eye.


Historic day at the shooting ranges, Randhir Singh family legacy continues

The Indian women's trap team of (From L-R) Manisha Keer, Rajeshwari Kumari, and Preeti Rajak win silver (Via NRAI)

Boom. The medal tally from the shooting ranges at the Asian Games ended on a high as the shotgun marksmen won a bunch of medals on Sunday. There was a history of sorts created with a team gold medal coming in men’s trap and a team silver medal coming in women’s trap. Finishing the wonderful proceedings at the ranges for India was Kynan Chenai, winning an individual bronze medal as well.

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Back to the history part, when Rajeshwari Kumari shot for the team trap silver, she became part of a family legacy at the Asian Games. Her father, Raja Randhir Singh, is the Indian sports administration’s big boss. Even today, the former Indian Olympic Association head is revered and respected in Hangzhou as he is the Olympic Council of Asia acting head.

The security protocol accorded to him is at par with a VIP. He cannot travel minus security and a bunch of guards in a convoy fleet. On Sunday, Raja Sahab needed to take permission as per protocol to come to the shooting ranges. “I have to inform them six hours in advance. This is as per protocol,” Randhir told this writer.

Rajeshwari Kumari, Raja Randhir Singh and Preeti Rajak
(From L-R) Rajeshwari Kumari, Raja Randhir Singh and Preeti Rajak (Via Open Source/X)

In an earlier interview before the start of the Asian Games, Randhir had talked about his own legacy as to how his father and grandfather had pioneered the Olympic Movement in India. Today, he was a Proud Dad and smiles all over. “Yes it is a proud moment. A legacy being carried ahead,” said Randhir.

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The medal haul from Indian shooting has been historic this time, with an aggregate of 22 medals of various shades. Daughter Rajeshwari Kumari was also happy. She had done exceedingly well at the World Championship last year and made the cut for the Paris Olympics. As per rules of the NRAI, the quota winner and who represents India will be decided later. She spoke of how her parents are worried when she shoots.

Rajeshwari in action at the Hangzhou Games (Via Open Source)

“My mom is always worried and pacing up and down when I am shooting,” said Rajeshwari, a silver team medal winner. All the same, she was laughing while being with her parents, who have been extremely supportive of her.

In his golden days, Randhir Singh was brilliant trap shooter. He had shot alongside the late Maharaja Karni Singh of Bikaner. “There are great memories from the rich past of me shooting the Olympics and the Asian Games. To be part of it for so many decades is emotional,” said Randhir today.

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Kynan Chenai and Zoravar Singh Sandhu also carry forward the family legacy at Hangzhou Asian Games

In men’s trap, there was history as Kynan Chenai, winner of two medals also comes from a family of shooters. His father Darius Chenai is a former national trap champion. Kynan may have taken time to mature in a sport where age does not matter. Yet, on Sunday, to win two medals against the strong Asian sides was creditable.

Kynan Chenai (Via Open Source)

The final twist in the tale is how Zoravar Singh Sandhu, the oldest member in the Indian contingent, figured in the trap event for India again. At 46 years of age, Zoravar has made a comeback in the squad. Way back in the late 90s, he used to be shooting trap with Mansher Singh, Moraad Ali Khan and Manavjit Singh Sandhu.

(From L-R)Prithviraj Tondaiman, Zoravar Singh Sandhu and Kynan Chenai win gold medal for India in the Men’s Trap Team event (Via NRAI)

Zoravar, whose father was also a shotgun shooter, HS Sandhu, had introduced the son to the sport. How Zoravar made it back to the squad is a brilliant story. When youngsters are creating ripples in Indian sport, a senior pro winning a team medal is magic.

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