Apart from the fierce focus on training for the 2004 Olympics, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s family played a big role in the double trap shooter’s silver medal triumph in Athens. Rathore’s family threw an impregnable shield around him—he wasn’t told about his kids’ illness, or even the death of his ‘closest friend’.
Having risen rapidly as a rifle shooter, Rathore qualified for the Olympics final round in the fifth position with 135/150 points and raised his game in the title round, where he scored 44 points to clinch silver. Gold medallist Ahmed Al-Maktoum of the UAE shot 144 in qualification and raced away to gold with another 45 in the final. Rathore made history by becoming the first Indian to clinch an Olympic shooting medal.