Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore - Athens Olympic silver medal in 2004

Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is an Indian shooter who won the silver medal in Men's Double Trap at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. He is 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.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was born on January 29, 1970 in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, in an army background. While his father, Laxman Singh Rathore, is a Col. in the Indian Army and his mother, Manju Rathore, is a teacher. Though nicknamed 'Chilly' at home, according to his parents, Rathore is a soft-spoken and down to earth person.

His exploits made him a national hero and a poster boy for Indian army. Rathore brought the entire nation to its feet with that awe-inspiring performance, in Men's Double Trap event. The sports loving lad from Rajasthan had interest in cricket but his fate brought him to National Defence Academy and from there he emerged as an ace shooter.

In the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, he won the Individual Gold Medal setting a new Commonwealth Games Record, 192 targets out of 200, which still stands. He also won the Team Gold Medal with (Moraad Ali Khan). Rathore, went on to successfully defend his Commonwealth Champion title by winning the Gold Medal at the (Melbourne) Commonwealth Games in 2006. He also won the Silver in the Team event with (Vikram Bhatnagar). He has won Gold Medals in two World Cup Shooting Competitions, in (Sydney) 2004 and (Cairo) 2006. In 2006 he won the Bronze Medal in the World Cup Final in (Spain) (an event only for the top 12 shooters of the world). He was ranked no 3 in the world for the most of the year of 2003 and 2004 and briefly went on to be the world no 1 in early 2004 and the world no 2 after the Athens Olympics. He also won a world Championship Bronze Medal in 2003 after a gap of nearly 40 years (earlier in 1962 Karni Singh of Bikaner had won a silver medal in the World shooting Championship in Cairo). Incidentally Rathore too belongs to the family of Bikaner. Rajyavardhan is accredited for winning the Asian Clay Target Gold Medal for four times in a row, year 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. He also holds an Individual Bronze Medal which he won in Doha, Asian Games 2006.In all, from the period of 2002 to 2006 he had won 25 International Medals in highly competitive competitions in his sport of Doubletrap Shooting.

He awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (Highest Sporting Honour of India) in 2005 and Arjuna Award in 2003 -2004. Rathore is a recipient of the Padma Shri, a civilian award from the Government of India.

Rathore was the chosen flag bearer for India during the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia and flag bearer for India during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

He is a now a Colonel in the Indian Army. An alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla Pune (N.D.A)

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