Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil became the ISSF shooting world cup gold medalist in the men’s 10m rifle individual event in Cairo, Egypt. The young shooter is 19 and he’s only the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to have won the world championship gold. In addition, Rudrankksh topped the ranking and became the world’s number one in the category.
Rudrankksh defeated the German shooter Maximilian Ulbrich by a score of 16-8 and became the 10m air rifle gold medalist in 2023. He also bagged the gold in the 10m air rifle mixed team category along with R Narmada Nithin.
Rudrankksh has rejuvenated faith and motivation in the Indian shooting cadre with these achievements, as the last year was not so productive for the shooters. His journey of reaching the pinnacle of his sport to represent the country on a global level is an inspiring one.
How did it begin for Rudrankksh?
Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil was born in thane, Maharashtra, on the 16th of December 2003. The date is important because it coincides with “Vijay Diwas”, which is celebrated to honour the victory of Indian armed forces in the 1971 war. It was only destiny that the two high-ranking officers of the Maharashtra police, Rudrankksh’s parents, gave birth to a ‘Vijeta’ (winner).
Rudrankksh, in his pre-teens, was sent to summer camps in different sports by his parents. There was a new sport every year. He had gone to camps for swimming, table tennis, chess, badminton, skating, football, and whatnot.
“Every year it was a different one. But the shooting coach was the only one who contacted my parents once the camp was over and told them that I had a talent.”
Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil
After this, his parents decided to encourage him into the sport. They waited until his 10th standard to see if he continued to do well. The shooting range in Thane he used to practice at, was abandoned, but the owner still allowed Patil to use it given that he would manage the repairs it needed. The Patils carefully drafted a budget to carry out the deed to continue his training.
The World Champion’s Road to GOLD
Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil debuted at the National School Games, playing for the Maharashtra Rifle team in 2015. The coach of the group was Ajit Patil at the time. Ajit was impressed by the performance of 13-year-old Rudrankksh when he bagged the bronze medal in his first competition.
Following that, Ajit took him under his wing and became his trainer. By 2017 Rudrankksh, training under Ajit, made a name for himself by winning several medals in different categories. He faced difficulties converting a silver medal into gold then, but he says he has overcome the issue with time.
In 2021, He won the silver medal in the men’s 10m air rifle category at ISSF’s junior world championship, followed by a Gold in ISSF Junior Cup in 2022.
At the world cup in Cairo, Rudrankksh finished seventh in the qualification round with 629.3 points, which he topped with 262.0 points to get to the finals with Maximilian Ulbrich. He had confirmed a silver, but his ambitions were higher. He won the gold with a 16-8 score against Ulbrich, who got the silver medal.
What’s Next for Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil?
Rudrankksh’s coach Ajit believes that while this achievement is remarkable, Patil has even higher ambitions. Rudrankksh has his eyes set on the Olympic games, where he wants to perform best to become a gold medalist.
Rudrankksh has reawakened the possibility of achieving the highest standards in shooting with minimal assets. Rudrankksh is taking forward the legacy of his Idol Abhinav Bindra and himself becoming an Icon for many youngsters.