At the age of 45, Mairaj Ahmad Khan is the oldest member of the Indian Shooting Team at the Tokyo Olympics. He is a top shotgun marksman and will compete in the Skeet category where he is ranked 10th in the world.
He is the first and only Indian to have held both the World Cup title as well as the Olympic quota for India at the same time, a feat he accomplished by capturing the Silver Medal at the 2016 ISSF World Cup Championship in Rio as well as a quota place for the shotgun skeet event for the Olympics in 2016.
In a video posted by Sports Authority of India, Khan said that he draws inspiration from from tennis legend Roger Federer. The Swiss, at the age of 39 is competing at the highest level and the Indian wants to do the same.
‘Whenever I see him, it gives me goose bumps,’ Mairaj Ahmad Khan on Roger Federer
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8. Speaking ahead of it, Khan spoke in lengths about Roger Federer and his second appearance at the Olympic games.
“When I see him on the court and when people say he is getting old, I say no. I think he is the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time). Whenever I see him, it gives me goose bumps,” Mairaj said.
“I really want to be like him; he is my idol,” Mairaj said of the 39-year-old tennis great, who has won an unprecedented 20 Grand Slams in an illustrious career.
“I always watch his (Federer’s) games. I always read about him. It gives me immense pleasure…how he is still coping with that kind of pressure, with so many (good) players in tennis now. So, here I am, all of 45 and I have teammates who are 23 or 24 years old. And I am drawing inspiration from Federer.”
Rio will not be repeated: Mairaj
The Indian shooting team had a disappointing outing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But a lot has changed since then and expecting a handful of medals at Tokyo.
“It will not be a Rio repeat. We have a good team and all the shooters are among the best in the world,” Mairaj said.
“The 100-day mark is up, so I am here to congratulate all the Olympians and all the future Olympians who are going to represent Indian at the Olympics. I would like to tell them to give their best and bring medals home. And I will do the same: give my 100 per cent and, hopefully, we will win medals this time,” Mairaj concluded.
Also read: India name 15-member squad in shooting for the Tokyo Olympic Games