Rudrankksh Patil: All you need to know about India’s best bet in shooting at Paris 2024

Samrat ChakrabortySamrat Chakraborty

February 22 2023
Rudrankksh Patil

The 19-year-old has been the most consistent top performer in his pet event in the world.

In his second year on the international circuit, teenage rifle shooter Rudrankksh Patil has already rose India’s hopes for Paris 2024. And no, the aforementioned sentence is no gimmick for a headline, but a reflection of the prodigy’s calibre.

Patil, 19, on Tuesday, continued on his fine run from his maiden season to add a World Cup gold to his medal tally in Cairo. The reigning World Champion outclassed Germany’s Maximilian Ulbrich 16-8 to take the top spot at the podium. It was the fourth gold in his fledgling career, which includes one from the team event at the World Championship.

The Maharashtra exponent had topped the ranking round with a final score of 262.0. He had qualified for the ranking matches after finishing seventh in the qualification round with a score of 629.3.

So what has been the journey like for Patil and why is he rated so highly? KhelNow dives deep to give you a view of his career, mindset and beyond.

Introduction to shooting

Rudrankksh Patil followed a technical route to make it to the senior level which moved from the nationals to juniors and then to the senior. He was introduced to shooting at the age of 12 in 2015 at a school in Thane. It took him no time to settle in his discipline as he shot a bronze in his maiden national appearance in his first year.

But there were a few early hurdles in his formative year. His coach had moved to Andheri and he had to travel for nearly two hours on a local train with his heavy rifle to reach there. Not just that, balancing his studies and his passion for the sport, turned out to be a major challenge for Patil. So, when he reached the tenth standard he took the aid of a makeshift range in Thane.

Mindset and need of psychologist

It is a known fact that tough times built character and Patil endured the same at a young age.

He was going through a medal drought in 2018 as he was finishing fourth in most of the events. But with the support and guidance of his coach, he was able to figure out his mistakes and return stronger in 2019. This phase also helped him understand and reconstruct his thinking process under the guidance of psychologist Dr. Anand Nadkarni. He learnt how to train his subconscious mind and focus on the conscious. It developed a process-oriented mindset for Patil.

As a result, in the succeeding year, he won six international medals and was selected for the junior world championship in 2021.

Learnt from the best

His father Balasaheb Patil is a Superintendent of Police for Palghar district. He introduced him to the discipline through 2008 Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra’s influence. Balasaheb told his son that it was ‘Bindra’s sport’ and soon the teenager started to learn more about Bindra’s technique and mindset.

Rudrankksh Patil even learnt how to stay focused and overcome pressure in high-intensity situations from Bindra during their recent meeting in Chandigarh.

Booked a berth for Paris 2024 

His career’s first major challenge awaits him in Paris in 2024.

The new phenomenon in India booked a spot for the quadrennial event with a gold medal at the World Championship in 2022. It made him a World Champion at 18. But what was more notable about his performance was that each of his 15 shots was in the 10s, with his lowest being 10.3. In fact, he was the only second Indian to become a 10m Air Rifle World Champion, after his idol Bindra (2006).

Trained under the legendary German coach

Patil continues to cover all bases ahead in the built-up to Paris 2024.

He recently trained under legendary German coach Heinz Reinkemeier. The German is a master who Bindra and Athens Olympics finalist Suma Shirur relied on at times during their career. His two trips varied from eight days to 15 days. And the German coach helped Patil fine-tune his career with his experience at a peak time.

For more updates, follow Khel Now on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and join our community on Telegram.