Khelo India Youth Games 2023: Joydeep Karmakar's Son Adriyan Handles Expectations, Defends Shooting Title

Adriyan's father is a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, ISSF World Cup silver medallist and Olympics 4th-placed rifle shooter. At 18, he has already been shooting targets for two-thirds of his life


Photo Credit: SAI
Shooter Adriyan Karmarkar, son of Olympian Joydeep Karmakar (R) won gold in 50m rifle shooting in Chennai on Thursday at the ongoing KIYG2023 Photo Credit: SAI

Adriyan Karmakar not only loves shooting but also talking about the shooting. "I can go on and on about it," he says. At the 6th Khelo India Youth Games in Chennai, Adriyan, representing West Bengal, successfully defended his gold medal in the 50m 3 positions event. (More Sports News)

At 18, he has already been shooting targets for two-thirds of his life. He has already had a phase where shooting became more of a chore that he felt he had to do because of who he was: the son of 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, 2010 World Cup silver medallist and 2012 Olympics 4th-placed rifle shooter Joydeep Karmakar.


He then had a frank conversation with his father, gradually rediscovered his passion for the sport, switched to 50m from 10m, and there’s been no looking back since.

"A few years back, I kind of strayed away from the sport. I was not focused because I had been shooting from a very young age. So I had a phase where it was just, ‘Okay, my dad is telling me to go to the range. Okay, I'll just go to the range. I'll just stand there for 1 hour. I don't want to do that. I just want to watch YouTube or just play around," Adriyan says.


"But my dad was like, ‘Do you want to shoot? If you don't want to shoot, it's fine. You can study.’ He has never forced me to shoot. He has always told me, ‘You do whatever you want.’ I never got the pressure from him. And he was very open about it. I was into arts and crafts a few years back. So then he got me marker pens and stuff, but they were hobbies, right? My shooting was my main thing. After that, again, I got my focus back on shooting. Now I am very focused, and this is all I want."

Recalling Adriyan’s tryst with shooting, Joydeep said, "He started pretty early at the age of 8. In fact, he was the youngest ever shooter at the age of 10 then to qualify for Senior Nationals. However, he was not too serious about it.

Adriyan Karmakar during the 6th edition of Khelo India Youth Games 2023 in Chennai
Adriyan Karmakar during the 6th edition of Khelo India Youth Games 2023 in Chennai Photo Credit: SAI

"Lately, in 2021 when he took up 50-metre events, his attitude towards shooting was visibly changing. Though not having a 50m range in his hometown was the biggest challenge, he had the patience to only dry fire and never shoot a single bullet. He won his first state-level competition without shooting a single shot in the 50m range before that! Now he looks stable and more focused than ever."


Over time, Adriyan has realised there are “pros and cons” to being a famous father’s son in the same field and has learnt to handle the expectations. “I get immense knowledge from him. I got a strong foundation and a mindset of a true shooter from him.

But, of course, there are expectations from crowds. And when I shoot bad, they are like, ‘How could you do it?’ And if I should win, they’re like, ‘Of course, he would do it.’ So there are perceptions and prejudices. 

"My dad has also taught me how to deal with those. So I don't think it has affected me in a bad way. If not, it has made me improve because it grew my hunger for success and excellence.”


Joydeep, on his part, heaps praise on his son’s prowess and mentions he has a long road ahead. “Adriyan knows the sport very well.

Adriyan won the gold medal at the 50m Rifle 3P event with an overall score of 450.1 at the KIYG Tamil Nadu
Adriyan won the gold medal at the 50m Rifle 3P event with an overall score of 450.1 at the KIYG Tamil Nadu Photo Credit: SAI

Technically, perhaps he’s one of the strongest shooters I’ve ever experienced as a Coach. Now experience and mental setup will take him higher if he wants it seriously!

"He has a very high knowledge of the technical process of shooting. His strong mental grit is another good point. Though he is young, he has his mind clear about the future and knows the ups & downs of the game. Comparison to an Olympian father is a challenge, but we have spoken & planned to handle this very openly and practically. His mindset is very open even to prepare to fail, but learning how to rise again.


Joydeep praises his son’s technical prowess, asserting his son has a long way to go. "I’m absolutely not being biased as a father, but I see him reach a very high standard in a couple of years,” added Joydeep.

The 6th edition of the Khelo India Youth Games will conclude on January 31. The Games are being played across four cities of Tamil Nadu, namely Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore.

Over 5600 athletes are participating in this edition of the Khelo India Youth Games. There are 26 sporting disciplines with over 275 competitive events and one demo sport.