Shooters sizzle as India notch up best World Cup haul

That helped the country finish as toppers, with five gold and one silver.

Published: 31st May 2019 07:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2019 07:26 AM   |  A+A-

Anjum Moudgil & Divyansh Singh

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Consistency. A word that is stressed upon by many in the world of sports. Many strive hard to achieve it. Indian shooters seem to have cracked the route to consistency. With seven quotas ensured and more to come, they are on the right track to pose a challenge during the 2020 Olympics. On Thursday, they gunned down two gold in Munich to cap off their best performance at a World Cup. Anjum Moudgil and Divyansh Singh Panwar combined to win the 10m air rife mixed event, while Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary won the 10m air pistol mixed event.

That helped the country finish as toppers, with five gold and one silver. Apurvi Chandela (women’s 10m air rifle), Rahi Sarnobat (women’s 25m pistol) and Saurabh (10m air pistol) had bagged gold before. Rahi and Bhaker had also ensured a quota each. This show comes a month after their No 1 show in Beijing, where they won three gold and one silver. Prior to that, they had won three gold in New Delhi. It’s a run that generated a lot of buzz. But for people who have been working closely with the shooters for years, this boom is no surprise. It’s part of the process that was initiated a few years ago as part of the junior programme.

“The improvement has been gradual and we are seeing the results now,” India rifle coach Deepali Deshpande noted. She believes that this ongoing system could produce more winners in the near future. “This is just the beginning.” One noticeable aspect of this lot is that most are youngsters. Their mental make-up is different. Having tasted success at an early age and on a consistent basis, they have gotten used to the idea of winning. Take the case of Saurabh, 17, who has been extraordinary.

With his latest gold on Thursday, he now has five in World Cups this year. “It’s no big deal for them. They are not thinking about records. But shooters from earlier times will know the significance of their performance.” Youngsters’ success has spurred the seniors to do well. Sarnobat and Chandela are apt examples. The two have seen their share of struggles, but now they’re in a different zone. “She’s (Apurvi) in her comfort zone now.

In this good period, she has honed her capabilities. That will definitely help her build self-belief.” The performance was not exactly spotless, with a few missing out on glory. The men’s rapid fire pistol team had a disappointing outing while women’s rifle 3 positions shooters failed to qualify. But Deepali feels that’ll improve. “Everybody can’t be a winner on the same day. It gives us hope, seeing their performances.”


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