Post personal tragedy, Shooter Shreya Agrawal starts firing aces

Shreya Agrawal is on top of the provisional ranking issued by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on March 30 after two selection trials.

Published: 02nd April 2022 10:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2022 10:36 AM   |  A+A-

Shooter Shreya Agrawal .(Photo | Twitter, @Shreyaagr9032)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Shooter Shreya Agrawal is on top of the provisional ranking issued by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) on March 30 after two selection trials. The top spot in the 10m air rifle women category means the shooter from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh is in pole position to make the national squad for the ISSF World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan. But things were not the same a few months ago with the 21-year-old Shreya battling with serious issues on the personal front. Not only did she test positive for the virus twice but she also lost her father, Sanjay, to Covid.

“I had been into shooting because of my father but he passed away last year. I also got infected twice. I took a month off but joined the camp for reserve shooters held in New Delhi ahead of the Olympics as there was a possibility of getting in the squad if a selected shooter was not performing,” Shreya told this daily.

A couple of months after the Tokyo Games, the national shooting championship was held in November-December and she did well in the event to book a slot for herself in the national squad for her maiden senior World Cup in Cairo. But given the emotional turmoil she was going through, Shreya apparently was not better equipped for the competition.

“I was doing good. My Academy (Gun for Glory) helped me with everything. But I must say I was not prepared for my maiden World Cup but then I understood the concept that it’s a big platform and I have to be ready,” she said. 

Despite the trouble, Shreya narrowly missed out on a semifinal spot. She shot 629.3 in the qualification round but the eighth and final spot went to a Hungarian, who shot 629.4. Nishant Nathwani, her coach, admitted that the tragedy took a toll on Shreya. “The death of her fa ther affected her badly but as soon as the range opened after restrictions were lifted, she was there on day one shooting targets. We also took help from a psychologist. Those sessions were sports specific. I believe it helped her a lot to come out of that phase,” the coach said.

Apart from dealing with the personal loss, Shreya was also countering an injury since 2018. “We spotted there was a slight injury in her lower back late in 2018. This prevented her from doing physical workouts including running. She had sessions at the Centre for Sports Science in Chennai. The rehabilitation went on for more than two years as the pandemic delayed it. But now she can move into strength training,” added the coach.

If selected, the World Cup will present her with another opportunity to claim her first senior international medal.


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