Ambitious, zealous and determined — you don’t need to know Manavaditya Rathore personally to know he’s all these things. The 20-year-old has been making waves in the trap shooting circuit by bagging medals in various tournaments. He won the bronze medal in the Junior (U21) National Championship in Delhi in 2011, which marked him as the youngest ever medallist at the National Championship at the age of 12. He also won a gold in the second Youth (U16) Shooting Championship in Kuwait, represented India in the Junior (U21) World Cup and bagged his biggest gold yet at the prestigious Khelo India Youth Games 2019. He followed that up by winning three gold medals at the recent 63rd National Shotgun Shooting Championship in New Delhi.

Rathore didn’t grow up in a house decked with paintings; instead he was surrounded by guns. But he never saw them as dangerous objects, just as another piece of sports equipment. He first got his hands on a gun at the age of 12, while on a whim to prove that he wasn’t scared to shoot it. His father would not be an easy person to impress, since he is the son of the legendary Olympic silver medallist shooter and former union minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. His parliamentarian father allowed him to take the shot with a sense of hesitation mixed with an instinctive belief in his son. As soon as the target flew by, Manavaditya pulled the trigger, absorbed the recoil and shot the target on his first attempt. A somewhat surprised Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore realised what had just happened and recognised his son’s talent, and started grooming him in the sport. Years of intense practice and successful tournaments later, Manavaditya When he’s not training to sharpen his shooting skills, Manavaditya is just another young man who considers himself a bit of an adrenaline junkie and prides himself for taking on new challenges. His ambition of being one of India’s best shooters in the future is not surprising, considering his pedigree. He dreams of emulating his father and win a medal at the Olympics. Towards that end, he will, in the coming weeks, take part in the trials for the selection of the senior team for Tokyo 2020. With so many talented shooters vying for a slot in the team, the competition is expected to be intense. But that is not something that will deter Manavaditya. He, in, fact is looking forward to what could be the biggest challenge of his young career. has grown up to be one of India’s most promising young shooters.

His father currently enjoys his role as a mentor and a supportive father. “Initially, he used to coach me. My basics have been built because of him and by him,” Manavaditya says, and continues, “But when a coach is coaching, he has to scold you, he has to push you. I, however, would take it as my father scolding me and not my coach. So that’s when he realised he has to choose to play either the role of my father or the role of my coach. He eventually chose to be the father. He does advise me when he feels I could benefit from it, otherwise he enjoys seeing me going on this journey, making my mistakes and learning from them .”

When he’s not training to sharpen his shooting skills, Manavaditya is just another young man who considers himself a bit of an adrenaline junkie and prides himself for taking on new challenges.

His ambition of being one of India’s best shooters in the future is not surprising, considering his pedigree. He dreams of emulating his father and win a medal at the Olympics. Towards that end, he will, in the coming weeks, take part in the trials for the selection of the senior team for Tokyo 2020. With so many talented shooters vying for a slot in the team, the competition is expected to be intense. But that is not something that will deter Manavaditya. He, in, fact is looking forward to what could be the biggest challenge of his young career.