Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore gave India its first Olympic medal in shooting when he won a silver in the men's double trap event at the 2004 Athens Games. Rathore, who has been an inspiration for many shooters in the country, was on Sunday appointed the new sports minister in place of Vijay Goel, who has been made the minister of state for parliamentary affairs. Hailing Rathore’s appointment, Twitterati wished the shooting legend on his new innings.
Abhinav Bindra, who had bettered Rathore's Olympic feat with a first ever gold medal in 10m air rifle at Beijing Games, congratulated the minister.
"Delighted to see @Ra_THORe is the new sports minister. All the very very best!," Bindra wrote in his twitter handle.
Delighted to see @Ra_THORe is the new sports minister . All the very very best !— Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) September 3, 2017
Many congratulations on the new role @Ra_THORe sir! All the very best!— Dipa Karmakar (@DipaKarmakar) September 3, 2017
First Olympion to be Sports Minister of India.Rajyavardhan singh Rathore.Congratulations @Ra_THORe .— Randhir Singh (@RANDHIR1946) September 3, 2017
An inspirational Olympic medal winner as our new Sports Minister. Good times ahead for Indian sport. Congratulations @Ra_THORe— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) September 3, 2017
The 47-year-old Rathore was till now serving as minister of state for information and broadcasting.
Rathore takes over from Goel following a major cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rathore first stepped in a shooting range in the mid 1990s and some years later, he became India's first ever individual silver medal winner at the Olympic Games. He stood on the podium after finishing second in the men's double trap at the 2004 Athens Games.
A year before he created Olympic history, Rathore had won a silver medal at the 2003 World Championships in Sydney.
(With PTI inputs)