Former shooter Fateh martyred
OUR Special Correspondent
New Delhi: The nation lost one of its foremost big bore rifle shooter-turned-coach, Fateh Singh, when he was martyred while fighting terrorists in Pathankot, on Saturday.
Subedar Singh was 51 years old and was a part of the Defence Security Core (DSC). He was posted with the Dogra regiment.
A top shooter during the 90s, Fateh Singh was a star performer during the inaugural Commonwealth Shooting Championship in New Delhi and won a gold and a silver medal in the individual events. He also won a gold in the team event.
Though not many pursued the big bore event in India since it was not an Olympic event, Fateh Singh excelled in it after joining the Army. In the Delhi Commonwealth Championship, his medals came in the 3 position and prone events.
Once he quit active shooting, Fateh Singh was involved in coaching and remained the coach of the Army team for several years. He was based at Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) in Mhow and earned his name as one of the top coaches in the country. AMU has produced some legendary shooters including double-trap star Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and pistol man Vijay Kumar. Standard pistol shooter Chandrasekhar Chaudhary, who won a silver medal in the pair event along with Samresh Jung in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, described Fateh a knowledgeable man and a great human being.
"As a coach, he was thorough and highly knowledgeable in the big bore event. He was a nice person and we all enjoyed his company. In fact, all of us, who spent time in AMU, were devastated when we received the news of his death," Chaudhary said.
Rifle shooter Joydeep Karmakar said Fateh Singh's death was a big blow to Indian shooting. "When I started my career, he was a well-known name in big bore shooting. Since we were in different events, we did not get to know each other well. But I was aware of his reputation.
"He later became coach and produced some good shooters. As a coach also, he was very famous... It is a loss for the shooting fraternity," said Joydeep, who finished fourth in the 2012 London Olympics.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) also condoled Fateh's death.
"Subedar Fateh Singh sacrificed his life while fighting for his motherland at Air Base Pathankot today during an attack of militants. Subedar Fateh Singh was a legendary big bore shooter," said NRAI in a statement.
NRAI president Raninder Singh said: "The country has lost its beloved son. May Almighty grant peace to the great soldier. The shooting fraternity prays for the departed soul and hope the Almighty gives strength to the family of this great soldier to bear with this irreparable loss," Raninder said.http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160103/jsp/sports/story_61875.jsp#.VojPCrZ97cs