Pistol shooter Yashaswini Singh Deswal clinched her ​maiden gold at the women’s 10m air pistol gold in the ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. She became the world champion in the women’s 10m Air Pistol event and with that India bagged the second position in the medals tally. Yashaswini defeated World No.1 Olena Kostevyc, 2004 Athens Olympic champion, by recording 236.7 in the women’s 10m air pistol finals in the Shooting World Cup to win the gold. She finished 1.9 points ahead of Olena. With this win, the 22-year-old former junior world champion Yashaswini has secured India’s ninth Olympic quota in shooting. Olena of Ukraine claimed the silver with 234.8, while Serbia’s Jasmina Milavonovic settled for the bronze with 215.7. “I am overwhelmed. The feeling is yet to sink,” Yashaswini told TOI after her match.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shooter Yashaswini Singh Deswal won her ​maiden gold at ISSF World Cup 2019 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • She became the world champion in the women’s 10m Air Pistol event. 
  • With this win, Yashaswini secured India’s ninth Olympic quota in shooting. “I am overwhelmed. The feeling is yet to sink,” Yashaswini said after her match.

Previous wins

This is not the first time Yashaswini has brought glory to India. Earlier, in 2016, she won a silver in the 10m Air Pistol event at the junior world cup at Suhl, Germany. The 22-year-old, who hails from Chandigarh, also bagged the gold after showcasing a stellar performance at the women’s 10m air pistol event in the ISSF Junior World Championship rifle/pistol in Suhl, Germany in 2017. She fired and scored a brilliant 235.9 points, scripting a world record.

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The shooter, who missed out on a medal by finishing fourth at the Guadalajara World Cup last year, shot brilliantly both in the qualification and final. She entered the final as topper in the qualifying round with her personal-best score of 582.

Daughter of an IPS officer eyes Tokyo

The Haryana shooter Yashaswini, a student of Economics, is the daughter of SS Deswal, who is an IPS officer. He is an officer in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. Her mother Saroj Deswal is the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax in Panchkula. Yashaswini has also clinched a Tokyo 2020 berth for the country. It was India’s ninth quota for the 2020 Games.

​The shooter, who missed out on a medal by finishing fourth at the Guadalajara World Cup last year, shot brilliantly both in the qualification and final. She entered the final as topper in the qualifying round with her personal-best score of 582.

How meditation helped

The shooter, who emerged champion in the Beijing and Munich editions of the World Cup series earlier this year, said, “Nothing has changed in my training. It was only about a matter of time that I converted my good starts.”

The Panchkula girl credited meditation to help her win the gold. “I have been meditating since a month now and it is helping me lot. I went to the match today after meditating. While meditation, I had visualised my shot and it helped me while executing my plan,” Yashaswini said.

Her coach Tejinder Singh Dhillon too said controlling her thoughts was the key for Yashaswini on Saturday. “Technically she is very strong, but she used to think and worry too much during the match. In shooting, you lose the plot if you start worrying about yours or your opponents’ scores,” Dhillon said.

Talking about controlling the pressure while competing with a No. 1 shooter like Olena, the second-year law student replied, “For a change, today I was not thinking about anyone. I was not looking at anybody’s scores,” she said.

Yashaswini, who had won the Junior World Championships two year ago, has been in the mix of the senior team on and off. Turning to the senior level, she said, “It is always disappointing to not win, but I was never short on self-belief. My father has always said that I can win big medals and that gives me confidence.”

“I don’t think it will get tougher. If I continue the way I have been training and shooting, it will be under my control,”

With the Olympic quota in, Yashaswini looks forward to maintain her domestic ranking till the team for the Tokyo Games is announced. “I don’t think it will get tougher. If I continue the way I have been training and shooting, it will be under my control,” she said.

Other Indians in the fray, Annu Raj Singh (572) and Shweta Chaudhary (568) finished 21st and, India now has booked all four places in men’s and women’s 10m air pistol events (2 each) respectively.

So come on, let’s celebrate!

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Feature Image Credit: The Indian Express

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