ISSF World Cup: India finish with 16 gold medals
India continued its dominance in the field of shooting as they pulled off a rout, claiming 16 gold medals in the ISSF World Cup. The fourth-edition of the World Cup series saw India finish with 22 medals. They took second spot in the overall medal tally, after China (36). Consequently, India have earned nine spots for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Here's more.
What has been impressive is the performance of India's mixed-gender team. The pair of Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary has impressed, claiming gold in 10m air pistol mixed event on all four occasions. Their fourth win came on Monday when they beat their Indian compatriots Abhishek Verma and Yashaswini Deswal. Meanwhile, Apurvi Chandela and Deepak Kumar won the 10m air rifle mixed event gold.
Following the medal overhaul, Manu said that India have developed heavy number of shooters in the past couple of years and there is no chance of getting complacent. However, she also asserted that consistency needs to be maintained. "If I shoot for 3-4 hours, it won't burn me out. I don't believe in taking long breaks from training," said Manu to Times of India.
Meanwhile, Verma said that it's the idea of maintaining a robust data plan which has led to the youngsters maintaining their decent form. Verma mentioned that whenever they are shooting, they note down and record every single data from their session. "When we don't shoot well, we go back to the diary and see what could be done to rectify our mistakes," said Verma.
NRAI president Raninder Singh stated that the exposure of Indian shooter to various international tournaments has uplifted their confidence and performance. He also mentioned that this has further allowed them to drop their inferiority complex and perform their heart out. "But, when they see their country playing hosts, it takes them to another level," said Raninder.
Raninder also went on to back the junior program, which was designed four years back and has led to fruitful results. "Also, earlier we used to depend only on the foreign coaches, but now we have so many former India shooters taking up the coaching job. This has helped us in a big way," he further opined.
While this prolific performance of Indian shooters certainly comes as good news, the fraternity is ought to be disappointed at the snub of the sport in the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. While CWG has reasoned as logistical issues for the snub, the author feels the organizing committee should try hard to accommodate the sport, at least for the sake of India.