CHENNAI: Women Indian shooters have never climbed the podium in the Olympic Games. Apurvi Chandela is determined to break the duck. For any 23-year-old, having such ambitions might seem daunting. Not for her.
Calm demeanour and routine has put her in good stead to achieve it. Setbacks have made her question her abilities in the past. Not one to give up easily, she has always come back stronger after each test. Before the Jaipur girl made a name for herself at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, she had endured a tough period. Just a few months before her golden run there, she was digging for answers after failing to make the cut for the World Championships.
Her determination and resolve have been put to test since then. But she has grown in stature with every hurdle. Introvert by nature, she went on to become first woman — as of now – in the World Cup opener in Changwon (Korea). Following that outcome, her performance strayed in the range but not enough to outgun top rivals. However, she managed to close the World Cup chapter on a high with a silver.
On Tuesday evening, the 10m air rifle star was on top of her game. She bagged gold with an impressive score of 211.2 in the Sweden Open Grand Prix. The score was a notable one as she surpassed the world record of 211 held by Yi Siling (China). However, the record does not stand.
According to rules, world records may be established in all recognised ISSF men’s, women’s, and juniors’ events, in Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cups, World Cup Finals, continental championships and continental games.
For Apurvi, it is another stepping stone to her Rio target. Thanking her fans, she said the feat will bolster her confidence. “This gold at Sweden has further strengthened my resolve to bag a medal at the Rio Olympics. The support, encouragement and wishes from my well wishers in Rajasthan have stood me in good stead at various international tournaments,” she stated.
One person who has high hopes from Apurvi is national coach Stanislas Lapidus. The Kazakh could not witness her sharp shooting, but that has not stopped him from keeping a close tab on her ward. “Even though the record does not stand, it is a commendable feat. She gained some vital experience, which is key to
her growth ahead of the Olympics. I have high hopes from her. This performance will certainly help boost her morale.”
With the Olympic qualifers coming soon, more Indian women have been tipped to join Apurvi in the flight to Rio. As of now, Apurvi remains the brightest woman to break the trend. With the Olympics nearing, the Sweden high might be the sign of things to come.