Our World number ones now come from small towns: Shooter Joydeep Karmakar says struggle in sports has evolved

In a conversation with Dainik Jagran, Karmakar opened up on the changes Indian shooting spectrum has gone through in the past many years and also took us through his moments of reckoning leading to his qualification to 2012 London Olympics.

By Mukul Sharma
Wed, 11 Aug 2021 02:57 PM IST
Minute Read
Our World number ones now come from small towns: Shooter Joydeep Karmakar says struggle in sports has evolved
Joydeep Karmakar | Dainik Jagran

New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Shooter Joydeep Karmakar finished short of a medal in London Olympics 2012 when the shooter, then amongst the top rankers in 50 meter Rifle prone category, found himself at the fourth place just a step behind from making a podium finish. Karmakar has represented India in 28 World Cups, 2 Commonwealth Games, 1 Asian Games and 3 World Championships and had career best ranking – 4th in World 1st in Asia between 2010 to 2012.

In a conversation with Dainik Jagran, Karmakar opened up on the changes Indian shooting spectrum has gone through in the past many years and also took us through his moments of reckoning leading to his qualification to 2012 London Olympics.

“The times of struggle as we knew have gone. Now big shooters are coming from the small towns and villages. You see Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker. They are becoming World number one,” Karmakar said on the nature of evolution Indian shooting spectrum has gone through in past some years.

Reflecting back on the time when Karmakar qualified for 2012 London Olympics, the ace shooter said that for some time it seemed unbelievable.

“See it’s a major thing to qualify in the Olympics for any athlete. In any athlete’s life, this is a major milestone. So I am not different and when I was told that I have qualified and I have been allotted a place in the team. So I still remember that in February my father was there when the news came that you have been selected for the Olympics. For some time, it seemed unbelievable. After that it synced in that finally I will represent my country,” Karmakar said.

Karmakar further said that as a boy from a middle class family it wasn’t difficult but there definitely were the challenges.

“The problem was that shooting in our time was not easy. I come from a middle class family. My parents always tried but couldn’t always support me financially. I won’t call it difficult but I definitely faced the challenges,” Karmakar said.

Not all Shooting events are expensive: Joydeep Karmakar

“To an extent it’s right to say that Shooting is an expensive sport. But there is one such event where you can also do it cheap. For example the air weapon training, the shots are cheap; barely ₹1 per shot. If you shoot ₹50 such shots in a day then they are affordable for ₹50 a day,” Karmakar says.

Karmakar also opened up the funding patterns leading up to 2012 London Olympics.

“If someone is representing the nation then they should be given equal importance at par with everyone else. I was quite distraught when I heard that when an internal meeting took place then someone from our own shooting fraternity said that there is no expectation of medal from him. So even if the funds aren’t allotted to him it’ll be fine. That wasn’t correct. That was unfair on me I think,” Karmakar said.

Watch the full interview here:



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