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Anybody who makes it to Team India can reach the top: Debevec

NEW DELHI: For those who follow the sport of shooting, Slovenian Rajmond Debevec needs no introduction. The 56-year-old Sydney Olympics champion is a living legend, having won everything there is to win in the sport – gold medals at the Olympics, ISSF World Championships, World Cup finals, World Cups and European Championships.

His career tally stands at an astounding 115 international medals. The Slovenian ‘rifle king’, who represented undivided Yugoslavia – for whom he clinched more than 30 of his international medals – captured his second World championships gold as recently as last year, showcasing his unwavering self-confidence and hunger to succeed.

Debevec responded to a questionnaire before embarking upon his trip to Delhi to participate in the 50m rifle 3-positions men’s event at the upcoming ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol from February 20-28.


What keeps you going?

What else can it be! My passion for our fascinating sport, which has given me everything.

What is your most cherished moment?

Without doubt, it has to be winning the Olympic gold in the 50m 3-p event at 2000 Sydney Games.

Coming into the Delhi World Cup, what is your goal?

My wish is to obtain a quota place for Tokyo 2020. That has to be the single-minded aim. To be honest with you, I don’t know about the chances of a ninth appearance at the Olympics, but hope never dies.

This will be your second visit to Delhi for a competition. What do you think about the shooting range and atmosphere?

The atmosphere among my sports friends is always nice and friendly, wherever we compete. Delhi’s shooting facilities actually offer all what we need, but as everywhere, progress can be done with small but useful improvements.

What are your thoughts on how Indian shooting has progressed over the years?

I follow Indian shooters all the time. You have many talents who can always fight for medals. Any shooter who has made to Team India can reach the top, so there is no need to tell a significant name.

Your thoughts in general on how shooting has progressed over the years as an Olympic sport with change in rules, events, formats etc….

Over the years, all final formats have been changed and some Olympic disciplines with long lasting tradition have been erased and some new ones added. Concerning this matter, my personal opinion is that the voice of athletes hasn’t been heard enough. In the meantime, the ISSF governing body has significantly changed its structure. It’s too early to comment on their work as yet, but I hope the new leaders will be open for everyone’s opinion or suggestion, in a way to improve shooting’s popularity and attractiveness to all types of media.

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