India’s young shooters in big league
Once a niche pursuit, shooting in India has evolved into a prominent sport. Anjali Bhagwat has seen the transformation.
As Mehuli Ghosh, Manu Bhakar and Saurabh Chaudhary — India’s young aspirants — prepare to bring more laurels to the country, the future of the sport looks bright, believes Anjali.
“The youngsters have been successful in all the major events and that’s a wonderful thing. The likes of Saurabh and Mehuli have plenty of time and a bright future ahead,” said Anjali, one of the jury members of the Sportstar Aces Awards.
Anjali, a gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games in 2002, is impressed by the way young shooters have entered the big league. “In the senior team now, nearly 60 per cent shooters are from the youth category. This shows how much we have improved over the years and where we exactly stand today,” Anjali said.
Pat for Mehuli
She is also excited to see Mehuli take the world by storm. Last week, at the InterShoot international shooting championship at The Hague, the Kolkata girl displayed class and courage, fighting back from the brink of elimination during qualification to strike her second successive gold in women’s air rifle.
“Her scores have been unbelievable. They are in the elite league already,” Anjali said.
Last year, the Indian athletes enjoyed tremendous success, making it tough for the jury to pick the winner.
“There was so much competition and it was difficult to choose the best one. This reflects the kind of year the athletes had,” Anjali said.
“Not just shooting, even table tennis got a facelift and so many people are now taking up the sport. It is the same with boxing, wrestling and badminton. That’s a positive for Indian sports,” she said.