Another remarkable performance from shooting prodigy Elavenil Valarivan as she wins her maiden gold medal in the women’s 10m Air Rifle event at the senior ISSF World Cup. Elavenil is only the third Indian shooter after Apurvi Chandela and Anjali Bhagwat to win a gold medal at the event. The 20-year-old took a gold shot with 251.7 points, while Great Britain’s Seonaid Mcintosh settled for the silver with 250.6 points. Other teammates Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela couldn’t leave a big mark.

Key Takeaways:

  • Debutante Elavenil Valarivan won her maiden gold medal in the women’s 10m Air Rifle event at the senior ISSF World Cup on Wednesday.
  • She is only the third Indian shooter after Apurvi Chandela and Anjali Bhagwat to win a gold medal at the event.
  • Elavenil shot 251.7 in the finals, leaving behind Seonaid Mcintosh of Britain, who won silver with an effort of 250.6.
  • The 20-year-old from Tamil Nadu had earlier won gold medals at ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney and Suhl in 2018.
  • India has won three out of the four World Cup gold medals in the women’s 10m Air this year.

A debutante at the senior level, Elavenil shot 251.7 in the finals. Previously, she had missed out on a medal by a whisker at the ISSF World Cup in Munich, where she finished fourth in the final. However, on Wednesday, Elavenil proved her dominance as she bettered senior compatriots Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela. India now stands tall with three out of the four World Cup gold medals in the women’s 10m Air this year. Elavenil, 20, from Tamil Nadu had earlier won gold medals at ISSF Junior World Cup in Sydney and Suhl in 2018.

A debutante at the senior level, Elavenil shot 251.7 in the finals. Previously, she had missed out on a medal by a whisker at the ISSF World Cup in Munich, where she finished fourth in the final.

Chinese Taipei’s Ying-Shin Lin took home the bronze and in the process, also securing one of the two Tokyo 2020 quota places on offer. The second quota was won by Iran.

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Elavenil had earlier silenced her senior and World number 2 Anjum (629.1 points) in qualification, with a brilliant score of 629.4. Anjum has already secured a quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In the final, they took the fourth and fifth spots among a total of eight women. World number one and finals world record holder Apurvi failed to qualify for the finals, finishing 11th with a score of 627.7.

In July this year, Elavenil bagged silver — the first medal for India at the 10m Air Rifle Women’s event of the Napoli World University Games, 2019. The shooter shot a score of 249.0.

Emerging sporting icon

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, grew 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.

In July this year, Elavenil bagged silver — the first medal for India at the 10m Air Rifle Women’s event of the Napoli World University Games, 2019. The shooter shot a score of 249.0.

Shooting limelight

She held her first rifle in 2016, and stepped into the spotlight 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.

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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. The 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 forces with Shreya Agrawal and Zeena Khitta to claim the team gold medal.

Feature Image Credit: Deccan Chronicle

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