Back in 2008, when Abhinav Bindra acquired the first ever gold medal at Beijing Games, Apurvi Chandela in Jaipur found herself holding a rifle to become one of the finest women shooter of India. In yet another victory, she clinched the silver medal in women’s 10m air rifle event of the ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup Finals today. After her podium finish at the Changwon World Cup, she became the second Indian shooter to book a quota to represent India in the Rio Olympics next year. Sports had always interested this 22 year old sensation, however she contemplated being a sports journalist once due to lack of formal training.
Five things to know about her,
1.Perfect 10: Not many know that Apurvi had shot a perfect 10 in her first attempt at a local shooting range in Jaipur. Having being offered a pistol, she said she wasn’t comfortable using it, and instead re emerged from the weapons room with a rifle. Aren’t we glad that she did?
2. Revolutionary: Women shooters were unable to meet the benchmark set by their predecessors until Apurva emerged revolutionising the women’s 10m air rifle team for good. The team which often faced flak for their performance is no more a weak link in the strong Indian shooting contingent.
3. Determined: Apurvi was battling an acute ligament fracture while representing India at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she registered her first career gold. Her determination to win resulted in her splendid display of physical and mental toughness.
4. Family person: Apurvi is accompanied by her family to all her tournament domestic or international. Her father is her biggest support system maintaining records of all her scores since she first registered a win at the Jaipur range in 2008.
5. Emotionally challenged: Where other players decide to express victory explicitly (Saurabh Ganguly’s victory shirt off ), Apurva chooses to keep her emotions in check. She says, “I am happy I won, but I cant be over-expressive”. She has been advice by her relatives to be more expressive after winning any medal.
However, booking a quota doesn’t assure Apurvi, a place in the Indian shooting contingent. It is the National Rifle Association of India who will decide her fate in the game. However being positive, Apurva said, “My target is to improve my scores. The good thing is that by winning the quota place in the first World Cup itself, the pressure is off me and I can now focus on my game”.
Photo Credit: s3.india.com