Shooting prodigy Elavenil Valarivan showed a stellar performance as she clinched gold medal in the Junior World Cup, bettering compatriot Mehuli Ghosh (630.4) by 1.4 points in the women’s air rifle final on Monday. Elavenil shot a brilliant 251.6 in the final to beat qualification topper Mehuli.

The Tamil Nadu born Elavenil had shot poorly in the qualification round, making the grade in the eighth place for the final among 124 shooters. Mehuli got the silver while Oceanne Marianne Muller of France had to settle for the bronze.

Also, Elavenil and Mehuli, along with Shreya Agrawal who shot 625.4, clinched the team gold with a junior world record score of 1883.3. With this win, India finished on top of the medals tally with six gold, six silver and two bronze medals

En route, India created a junior world record to the team gold in women’s 10m air rifle competition. India has also brought home another gold and silver in individual competition, continuing their domination in the tournament.

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Last month, Elavenil bagged silver — the first medal for India at the 10m Air Rifle Women’s event of the Napoli World University Games, 2019. The 19-year-old junior shooter shot a score of 249.0.

Here’s how the youngster is steadily emerging as a sporting icon for the nation:

The Ahmadabad-based shooter, who is currently pursuing English Literature from Gujarat University, began her journey in 2013 when her father, scientist Valarivan Rudrapati, took her to the Ahmadabad Military and Rifle Training Club to meet one of his students; she was just 13 back then. Valarivan was born in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, has grown up in Ahmadabad, and trains in academies located in Pune and Chennai. Initially, Elavenil trained at the military club. Later, she was selected in the Sports Authority of Gujarat’s training programme.

Shooting limelight

She held her first rifle in 2016, and first came to limelight when she participated in Indian junior team, winning the gold medal at the Junior World Cup in Sydney in March in 2017. She won the medal with three scores of 10.5 or more in her last four shots.

Career milestones:

  • Elavenil created history last year by clinching gold in the women’s 10m Air Rifle event at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney. She became world champion at the ISSF Munich World Cup. And also claimed a silver medal at the Changwon World Cup.
  • In 2017, she topped the selection trials with a world record-equalling score of 252.1. She edged past Rio Olympian Ayonika Paul and Elizabeth Koshie. Same year, Elavenil became the 10m air rifle champion at the senior Nationals in Kerala with a score of 250.6 in the final.
  • Elavenil broke the previous record held by fellow Indian shooter Mehuli Ghosh. This was her first participation in the finals. The teen knocked out shooters from Chinese Taipei and China and claimed gold with 249.8 points.
  • Valarivan has set a new Qualification World Record with 631.4 points.
  • She came 28th in Junior World Championship in Suhl in 2017.
  • Valarivan also won a bronze medal in the FISU championship.
  • She trains at Olympic medallist Gagan Narang’s Gun For Glory Academy. Besides her individual podium finish at the season’s first junior ISSF World Cup, Elavenil also combined with Shreya Agrawal and Zeena Khitta to claim the team gold medal.

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