APG2018: Logaraj hopes reaching shooting final will inspire his students
09 October 2018
He may be all smiles after finishing fifth in the P1 men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 finals but Logaraj Raju winning a medal on his Asian Para Games debut was definitely a possibility, and this result is a platform that he can build on for future competitions.
At the Senayan Shooting Range in Jakarta, the 39-year-old whom everyone calls Raj forced his way into the eight-man final with a score of 558 to be ranked 7th after the preliminaries.
Logaraj Raju takes aim at the target at the Senayan Shooting Range. Photo: Sport Singapore
And he quickly found his sights in the final where everyone starts on equal footing, and he moved to the top of the board after the seventh shot before a wayward 8.4 brought him back down to an eventual 6th spot heading into the eliminations.
Four shots into the elimination and Raj moved into bronze medal position as the first two shooters were eliminated. Then came the wobbles as shots of 9.9 and 9.3 saw him tumble to 4th, and he was ousted into 5th position after further shots of 9.0 and 9.4.
Despite missing out on the podium, the small business owner cum shooting coach took plenty of positives from this outing.
“I’m pretty happy with the performance, this was one of my best in competition,” he said. “My students back home have also been cheering me on since this morning, so yes, I’m been quite buoyed by that too.
“I want to thank them for their support. This is an experience I would be sharing with them, how I managed to get fifth position with all the hurdles that we faced here such as the heat and other pressures of competition.”
Logaraj Raju makes his first final at this level of competition. Photo: Sport Singapore
Google his name and one would find a story of triumph over hardship, as Raj overcame bullying due to his disability – damaged nerves in his left shoulder meant he has limited movement in his left arm – and he even has the courage to pick up martial arts.
Explaining why both sports are complementary, Raj said: “Martial arts gives me the fitness and focus that I really need in order to shoot. It’s similar in a sense… like you’re getting punched in the face and yet you have to focus on your next move.
“It’s the same for shooting, you take a shot then quickly regain your focus and plan your strategy for your next shot.”
Since picking up the sport 10 years ago, Raj can count a silver medal in his possession, won in this event last year at the ASEAN Para Games in Kuala Lumpur. Having now proven his worth at the next level, he feels encouraged to continue working harder.
“This is my personal achievement and I’m looking to further this,” he said. “My next target is the ASEAN Para Games in the Philippines next year and I’ve already started working on it.”
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