Asian Games gold medal-winning shooter Jitu Rai said Monday that he has learnt a lot about 'strategic clapping' and vowed not to get distracted by it in his future endeavours. (Feels shameful to ask for promotion: Jitu Rai)
Jitu Rai won India's first gold medal of the 17th Asian games in the 50 metre individual pistol event at the Incheon Games but had to settle for bronze in the 10 metre air pistol team event.
"Strategic clapping broke my rhythm. I never experienced this kind of applause before. I am aware of this kind of gamesmanship now and fully prepared to face it. Hopefully in my future tournaments I won't get distracted by these tricks," Jitu said.
He was the front-runner to lead his team to gold in the team event but got distracted by 'strategic clapping' employed by the South Korean home crowd to lose out on the top spot.
The South Korean team of Cheongyong Kim, Jongoh Jin and Daemyung Lee won the top spot in the category.
The boisterous home crowd indulged in gamesmanship and deliberately clapped and created noise during Jitu's 11th shooting attempt when he was tied on scores with Cheongyong after the 10th round of shooting.
It broke his concentration and affected his performance.
But apart from this mistake, he expressed happiness regarding his performance at the 17th Asian Games.
"This Asian Games was important for me as I worked really hard for it. I have won a lot of medals but never gave any one of them much importance but this win is special," the 27-year-old said.
Jitu has won medals in every competition he has entered this year and has seven medals to flaunt for his efforts in 2014.
His Asian Games performance even brought recognition from his home state of Uttar Pradesh with a cash prize of Rs. 50 lakh.
"I am glad that the Uttar Pradesh government has recognised my efforts. I never gave much importance to these thoughts. I have focussed on my performance always," said the Nepal-born shooter, who had once threatened not to accept any award from the Akhilesh Yadav government.