Manavaditya Rathore, 13, didn’t think it a big deal that he had played a part in completing a rare feat in Indian shooting. It’s unusual to be picked to represent the country, while your father is still competing at the senior level. But great things are expected of ‘Milo’ — as Manavaditya is known — for he is the son of Athens Olympics silver medallist Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
After the senior Rathore had assured himself of a spot in the men’s double trap team for the 1st World Cup with an individual gold at January’s Nationals, Manavaditya on Monday made the cut for India’s junior trap team that will go to Germany.
The Rathores, in the process, became the second Indian father-son combination after the Sandhus — Gurbir and Manavjit — to have competed concurrently at the international level. The Sandhus in fact competed as a team — in the trap event at the Asian Shooting Championships in Bangkok in 1994. “It is nice to know that both of us will be part of the team but I don’t pay much attention to these things,” said Manavaditya, a Class VIII student. “I have worked hard for it.”
But the senior Rathore, 43, was justifiably proud. It’s a tribute to both his son’s precocious talent and his own longevity. “The satisfaction is more for the parent than the child I think, but it’s good to be part of this rare feat,” he said.
Unlike the Sandhus, it’s unlikely that the Rathores will ever team up in competition, since Manavaditya chose trap over his father’s preferred discipline - double trap. Manavaditya first shot skeet but picked up trap seriously shortly before the 2012 Junior Nationals, and ended up winning bronze. This year he won a team silver.
“I have never attempted to shoot double trap. Trap is more fun. You don’t really know where the target is going,” said Manavaditya, who started accompanying his father to the Karni Singh shooting range when he was seven. In fact, it was the son’s fledgling career that revived the father’s waning interest in the sport.
“After so many years, you tend to drift away from the basics and pure love for the sport and also you forget about the fun part of it. Since I keep talking to him, the love has come back,” said Rathore.
National squads: Trap men (tentative): Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Mansher Singh, Zoravar Sandhu,