London: India's new shooting sensation Vijay Kumar, who clinched a silver medal in Olympics, on Monday said the low-profile build-up to his participation in the London Games turned out to be a "blessing in disguise" as it helped him to focus more on his game.

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"I am a human being. I will be telling you a lie if I say it (not getting the media coverage) did not matter but now I realise that this was a blessing in disguise because not being in limelight, I was able to concentrate more on my event and the result is there for all to see," said Vijay.

"I have not given to flamboyance, people say one should perform and you will be noticed. I have been performing for last eight years, I have won 110 national and 45 International medals and now some friends want to know about me after this Olympic medal which amuses me. It is not my job to go talking or bragging about my achievements. I am an Army man not a PR guy," he said.

Unheralded Vijay provided the silver lining for India in London last week, clinching the second place in the 25m Rapid Fire pistol event.

Vijay said he was taken aback when people, including media, expressed surprise about his podium finish.

"I have been getting phone calls from India. They say I turned out to be a dark horse. They want to know more about me. Sometimes I do feel bit bad about it but then, I have learnt to take these things in my stride," he said.

"I am a national champion since 2004 in my event. I won two gold medals with new Games Record in 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, a gold and a bronze in Doha Asiad, a silver in World Championship in China, three gold and a silver in 2010 Commonwealth Games, two bronze in Guangzhou Asian Games and if still my medal winning performance has surprised people and media, I can't help it," said the 27-year-old marksman.

Though he was not expecting a medal, Vijay said, "...but like every sportsperson who is here, I also in my heart was thinking of winning here. I never told anybody about my emotions or sentiments."

"Yes, once I made it to the final, I had the feeling that I can win. I retained my calm. I myself was surprised that making the cut did not ruffle me or made me lose my nerves. I went into the final like I was shooting before. My composure helped me.

"Throughout the final, I was focused and never wavered in my concentration. My mind was blank I was just looking at the board and once I knew that I am among the three, I wanted to move up but could not catch up with the gold medallist," said the Hamirpur marksman during an interaction at Games village.

He said the feeling is yet to sunk in that he is part of India's medal-winning athletes.

"I have been flooded with phone calls but still the feeling has not sunk in. This may be because I am still in Games village and there are so many medal winners around. Some of the world's best sportspersons are here.

"Last evening, I watched sprint-king Usain Bolt. He was simply awesome. He showed the power of sports. He enthralled the packed stadium," he said.

The shooter said that he would be very happy if his Olympics performance inspires new generation of Indians to take up the sport. "It will be great if India produces more and more Olympic medal winners."


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