That was 2014. Sarbjot’s father Jitender Singh, a farmer, told his son that the sport is pretty expensive. But eventually, after Sarabjot insisted for months, he agreed.
It’s a decision that the family will never repent, especially after Wednesday, when Sarabjot’s strong knock on the door of the Paris Olympics thanks to a maiden senior ISSF World Cup gold in 10m air pistol.
But it was only a matter of time before Sarabjot stood atop the podium in a senior international event. In the domestic circuit, his precision and calmness has made him the national champion two years running, including holding the current crown.
Gold!!! 🥇 Sarabjot Singh wins the men’s 10m Air Pistol at the @issf_official World Cup Rifle/Pistol Bhopal. Congrat… https://t.co/P5GSPbrvxc
— NRAI (@OfficialNRAI) 1679466322000
However, it was a fourth position finish in Cairo that pushed Sarbjot to do better.
“Cairo was my first senior world cup, I was in the final then as well but finished fourth,” said Sarabjot talking to TimesofIndia.com. “It made me determined to do better and address all the shortcomings at the next World Cup.”
The work Sarabjot put in between Cairo and Bhopal has done wonders, and in some style.
On Wednesday at the Madhya Pradesh State Shooting Academy here, Sarabjot first topped qualification with a score of 585 and then went on to win gold in even better style, blanking Azerbaijan’s Ruslan Lunev 16-0 in the gold medal match. His compatriot Varun Tomar won the bronze.
“This is my first senior medal. It was always on my mind that I want to do something for India,” said Sarabjot.
He finished the event with a final shot that hit 10.9, which put in perspective the determined effort Sarabjot has put in after promising in Cairo to do better at the home World Cup, which is being hosted by India outside of Delhi for the first time.
Sarabjot admitted that once he led 10-0 against Lunev, the 16-0 scoreline had started playing on his mind.
“Just three shots were left. In the end I knew that if I have to do it (win 16-0), then I have to focus more on my technique and process,” he said.
But he went on to reiterate that it was the changes he brought into his training that got him this result.
“Physical and mental preparation was not good at that time (in Cairo). So I focused on workout and got in touch with the psychologist, meditated a lot,” Sarabjot told TimesofIndia.com, giving us an insight into his preparation for the event.
“I became the national champion for the second time (in 2022) and it gave me confidence,” he added.
Towards the end of this conversation, Sarabjot credited his coach Abhishek Rana for making a champion out of him.
“When I played my first district-level tournament, I won a silver medal. Then I met Abhishek sir. I have trained with him since 2016, and also became the youth national champion. I am in touch with him 24×7.”
About his next immediate target, Sarabjot’s reply was like the 10.9 score that he shot – precise.
“World Championships and then the Asian Games.”