STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

MJ music, smiles dominate evening at ISSF World Cup

The build-up had been ominous with off the field issues threatening to tarnish the upcoming ISSF World Cup without a single pellet being fired.

Published: 23rd February 2019 07:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2019 07:55 AM   |  A+A-

Heena Sidhu (File | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The build-up had been ominous with off the field issues threatening to tarnish the upcoming ISSF World Cup without a single pellet being fired. On a sunny Friday afternoon, a day prior to the real deal, the dust finally settled down with shooters surrendering to the surroundings and bringing out their game face. There was even a distinct Michael Jackson music coming from the main range, perhaps adding to the easygoing atmosphere.

Pistol shooters including Heena Sidhu looked focussed as ever. Sourabh Chaudhary bore the same body language and so did the rest who were in the qualifying range. Amidst this, India’s foreign pistol coach Pavel Smirnov seemed pro-active, keeping a close eye on his wards. Pavel is keeping the bar high. “Nothing less than medals/quotas,” he said hastily, before disappearing into the bowels of the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

The intensity those pistol shooters put on display could have been mistaken for a real match by a bystander. Even though the 10m air pistol is only going to be held on Tuesday, they were making use of every passing second. “It (practice) has been going smoothly. She is in a good frame of mind,” Ronak Pandit, Heena’s coach, said. Fellow shooter Abhishek Verma echoed those same lines, adding that he is focussed on performance.

But before Heena & Co can show their calibre, it will be the rifle shooters who will be first to step onto the range. From India’s perspective, this is an event where they have already secured two quotas through Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela. Both will be lining up on Saturday along with Elavenil Valarivan, who is the third shooter in this event. 

One might regard this to be just a preparatory outing for the duo but it’s much more than that. With National Rifle Association of India’s selection policy, no shooter can take things for granted. Elavenil enters the scene with quite a reputation too. The Cuddlore-born shooter, who resides in Ahmedabad, will be determined to make a mark at the senior level too. There will be a total of 102 competitors from 44 nations in the fray. 

Besides, the men’s 50m rifle 3 position will also begin with two elimination stages. Apart from that, the women’s 25m pistol is also due to commence with the precision stage. All eyes will be on Manu Bhaker, Rahi Sarnobat and Chinki Yadav. Outside the qualifying range, the shooters’ traffic was quite busy with most of them calling it a day and leaving the premises. Some seemed relaxed, exchanging smiles. It seemed like most had aced the mock test. The real test begins in a few hours.

Stay up to date on all the latest Sport news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp